2006 January

3rdThe Astros sign free agent CF Preston Wilson to either a 1 year, $4.5 million or 4 year, $28 million contract. Wilson will get $4 million in 2006 and at the end of the season, the team has an option for 3 years, $24 million or a $500,000 buyout.

4thThe Mets trade pitchers Jae Weong Seo and Tim Hamulack to the Dodgers for pitchers Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll. The Mets get relievers, the Dodgers get starters.

The Orioles sign free agent 1B Jeff Conine to a contract.

The Pirates sign OF Jeromy Burnitz to a contract.

5thThe Yankees sign free agent IF Miguel Cairo to a contract.

The Phillies sign free agent pitcher Ryan Franklin to a contract.

6thThe Red Sox sign free agent first baseman JT Snow to a contract.

The Blue Jays help their crowded 3B situation by trading 3B Cory Koskie to the Brewers for minor league pitcher Brian Wolfe.

9th  The Cubs trade  former five-tool bluechipper CF Corey Patterson to the Orioles for minor leaguers SS Nate Spears and pitcher Carlos Perez.

The Astros sign free agent pitcher Trever Miller to a contract.

10thBruce Sutter is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his 13thyear on the ballot. The relief star becomes the first hurler elected to the Hall with no career starts. His plaque will reflect another first: he is sporting a beard. Outfielder Jim Rice finishes second in the balloting, falling 53 votes shy, one ahead of reliever Goose Gossage.

The Padres sign free agent pitcher Shawn Estes to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent IF Ty Wigginton to a contract.

The Mets ink their top pick from last June’s draft signing Mike Pelfray for $5.25 million.

11thThe Red Sox sign free agent reliever Julian Tavarez to a two-year $6.7 million contract.

12thThe Indians sign free agent 1B Eduard Perez to a contract.

The Orioles cowboy up and sign free agent 1B Kevin Millar to a contract.

The Reds sign free agent pitcher Grant Balfour to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent pitcher Dan Miceli to a two-year contract.

14thThe Dodgers obtain pitchers Danys Baez and Lance Carter from the Devil Rays for pitchers Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany.

19thPitcher Bronson Arroyo signs a three-year contract with the Red Sox, giving them a hometown discount of $11.25 million for three years. He might regret that in a month.

21stThe Mets trade pitcher Kris Benson and his wife to the Orioles for pitchers Jorge Julio and John Maine. Anna will file for divorce in March, saying her marriage to Kris is “irretrievably broken”, then reverse her call a few weeks later. Some management grinches blame the trade on the revealing Mrs. Santa outfit that Anna wore to the team’s Christmas party.  Anna will later star in the short-lived “Baseball Wives” reality show, which runs from November 2011 to January 2012.  The couple will file for divorce just months after the show is canceled.

23rdThe Cubs sign free agent pitcher Wade Miller to a contract.

24thThe Red Sox give Theo Epstein the title of GM again. Larry Lucchino, team president states, “Theo returns as general manager to an organization that is different from the one he left on Oct. 31. The four-year relationship between Theo and me, and the passage of time over the last three months, have helped to put behind us the friction that developed during last year’s negotiations.” Observers say the rift between the two remains irrevocable.

Red Sox pitcher Guillermo Mota fails a physical, which puts the proposed Red Sox-Indians trade in danger. The trade will send OF Coco Crisp, pitcher David Riske and C Josh Bard to the Red Sox for Mota, 3B Andy Marte and C Kelly Shoppach.

The Orioles re-sign RF Jay Gibbons to a 4-year, $21.1 million contract, to avoid salary arbitration. Gibbons would have been eligible for free agency after the season.

25thThe A’s signed free agent DH Frank Thomas to a one-year, $500,000 contract.

27thThe Phillies send OF Jason Michaels to the Indians for pitcher Arthur Rhodes.

The Red Sox send 3B Andy Marte, pitcher Guillermo Mota, C Kelly Shoppach, and cash considerations or a player to be named to the Indians for OF Coco Crisp, pitcher David Riske, and C Josh Bard.

29th  The Padres sign 37-year-old C Mike Piazza to a one year contract.  Piazza turned down an offer from the Phillies for a chance to catch regularly in San Diego.