2011 January

3rdThe Mets sign free agent pitchers Chris Capuano, a former all-star with Milwaukee, and Taylor Buchholz to one-year contracts. Milwaukee declined to sign Capuano who pitched effectively after returning from a two-year layoff.  The Mets give him a $1.5 million contract and he will reward them by going 11-12. He’ll then sign a 2-year $10 million contract with the Dodgers.

The Yankees sign Mets lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano, but he won’t pitch an inning for the pin stripers. In April, Brian Cashman will accuse the Mets of “abuse” for overusing the pitcher, who appeared in 266 games in the past three years. To which Dan Warthen, Mets pitching coach, answers incredulously, “They didn’t know that when they signed him?”

4thThe Blue Jays sign free agent pitcher Octavio Dotel to a one-year contract. Dotel will have a solid year and appear in four World Series games.

5thThe Nationals sign free agent 1B Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract.

The Orioles agree to a two-year deal with free agent pitcher Kevin Gregg.

The Rangers agree to a 6-year deal with free agent 3B Adrian Beltre. Michael Young, the longest tenured Ranger, initially agrees to give up the third-base position and become the DH and utility player, but he will have a change of heart and in early February demand a trade.  Doesn’t happen, at least not till Dcember 2012. Beltre hits .296 his first year and drives in 105 runs, while Young hits a career-high .338 and leads the AL in hits. He plays all infield positions and DH.

Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

8thThe White Sox agree to a two-year deal with free agent pitcher Will Ohman.

The Rays trade P Matt Garza, OF Fernando Perez and pitcher Zachary Rosscup to the Cubs for pitcher Chris Archer, SS Hak-Ju Lee, C Robinson Chirinos, and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. Garza will pitch solidly and will tie Ryan Dempster for most wins on the Cubs with 10. The speedy little Fuld will be an instant fan favorite in Tampa, hitting .300 in April before fading.

10thThe Reds sign free agent SS Edgar Renteria and free agent OF Fred Lewis to one-year deals.

11thThe Tigers reach agreement on a one-year contract with free agent pitcher Brad Penny. It will prove to be a penny well spent as the veteran goes 11-11 in 182 innings.

13thThe Yankees agree to terms on a three-year deal worth a generous $35 million with free agent pitcher Rafael Soriano, who led the AL in saves last year with 45 while with the Rays. At the press conference to announce the signing, Yankee GM Brian Cashman tells reporters that he “didn’t recommend” the deal, that it was Hal Steinbrenner’s call. Cashman will prove correct as Soriano will go 2-3 with 8 saves.

14thThe Athletics agree to terms on a two-year deal with free agent P Grant Balfour.

The Royals sign free agent pitcher Jeff Francis to a one-year contract. Tomorrow they ink veteran Bruce Chen to a 2-year contract worth $9M.

15thThe Rays sign free agent pitcher Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year deal.

17thThe Blue Jays reach agreement on a one-year contract with free agent P Jon Rauch.

Pitcher Chris Young signs a one-year deal with the Mets.  The 6’10” Young, who was 2-0 in 4 starts with San Diego, will prove just as fragile in New York, going 1-0 in 4 starts.

18thRoyals pitcher Gil Meche announces his retirement, walking away from a guaranteed $12.4M on the fifth year of a 5-year contract. Meche had been battling shoulder and arm problems.

19thThe Athletics sign free agent P Brian Fuentes to a two-year contract.

The Padres sign free agent P Chad Qualls to a one-year contract.

The Nationals acquire pitcher Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs for minor leaguers Michael Burgess and pitchers AJ Morris and Graham Hicks. Gorzelanny will go 4-6.

The Nationals sign free agent UT Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year contract.

20thTampa’s David Price wins the Warren Spahn Award as baseball’s top left-handed pitcher.

The Dodgers reach agreement on a one-year contract with free agent OF Marcus Thames, who had a good year with the Yankees.

The Yankees agree to terms on a one-year contract with free agent OF Andruw Jones, who will play reserve outfield.

21stThe Angels acquire OF Vernon Wells and the $86 million left on his contract from the Blue Jays in exchange for C Mike Napoli and OF Juan Rivera.  With catcher J.P. Arencibia waiting to be promoted, Napoli is expendable.  Wells, who signed a 7-year $126 million contract with the Jays, has an opt out clause after the 2011 season. But Wells will hit .218 with a 660 OPS and decide not to exercise his option.

The Cardinals agree to a one-year contract with free agent 3B Nick Punto.

The Rays agree to terms on one-year contracts and reunite free agent Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.

24thThe Tigers send pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Diamondbacks for minor league hurlers Kevin Eichorn and Ryan Robowski.

25thThe Rangers send P Frank Francisco to the Blue Jays in exchange for recently acquired C Mike Napoli. Napoli will have an injury-plagued first half of the season, then break out in the second half.

26thThe Padres reach agreement on a one-year deal with free agent IF Jorge Cantu.