Lively market keeps Hot Stove churning

Lively market keeps Hot Stove churning

It has been less than a month since the World Series ended, but already, many of the top free agents have signed 2007 contracts as a Hot Stove season supposedly thin on top talent has seen one free agent after another command top dollar in what has been a very lucrative market.

But there are still a lot of moves to be made, and decision-makers for most teams will meet over the Thanksgiving weekend to assess what's happened so far and how it has impacted their personnel plans.

A few teams, like the Chicago Cubs, have already made several high-profile postseason moves, but most teams have not made their biggest winter transaction yet. With the Winter Meetings set to begin Dec. 4 that could change very soon.

In the meantime, here's a recap of each team's significant postseason transactions through Nov. 24:

East Division

Baltimore: The Orioles came up short on Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee, but did sign left-hander Jamie Walker to a three-year, $12 million contract and acquired right-hander Jaret Wright from the Yankees for right-hander Chris Britton. The Orioles also re-signed lefty John Parrish and infielder Eider Torres to one-year deals.

Boston: The Red Sox won the bidding for the rights to negotiate with Japanese start Daisuke Matsuzaka, and signed infielder Alex Cora to a two-year contract. Boston also re-signed reliever Mike Timlin.

New York: The Yankees sent outfielder Gary Sheffield to Detroit in exchange for right-handers Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett. New York also picked up another right-hander, Britton, from the Orioles for Wright and cash considerations.

Tampa Bay: The Devil Rays won the negotiating rights for Japanese third baseman Akinori Iwamura. Tampa Bay also re-signed pitcher Jae Seo and infielder Greg Norton.

Toronto: The Blue Jays signed free-agent DH Frank Thomas to a two-year deal worth $18 million.

Central Division

Chicago: The White Sox sent left-hander Neal Cotts across town to the Cubs in exchange for right-hander David Aardsma and left-hander Carlos Vasquez. The White Sox exercised the 2007 club options on the contracts of left-hander Mark Buehrle, outfielder Jermaine Dye and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, and declined to pick up the 2007 club option on right-hander Dustin Hermanson. The White Sox inked outfielder Luis Terrero to a one-year deal.

Cleveland: In addition to picking up the 2007 options on pitcher Jake Westbrook and infielder/outfielder Casey Blake, GM Mark Shapiro made one trade, acquiring second baseman Josh Barfield from the San Diego Padres for first baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and right-hander Andrew Brown.

Detroit: The Tigers re-signed first baseman Sean Casey to a one-year, $4 million contract and acquired Sheffield from the Yankees for pitchers Sanchez, Whelan and Claggett.

Kansas City: The Royals obtained catcher Jason LaRue from the Reds in exchange for a Minor League player to be named.

Minnesota: The Twins picked up the options on center fielder Torii Hunter and pitcher Carlos Silva.

West Division

Los Angeles: The Angels signed Gary Matthews Jr. to a five-year, $50 million contract, and right-handed reliever Justin Speier to a four-year deal worth $18 million. The Angels also picked up right-hander Chris Resop from the Marlins for pitcher Kevin Gregg.

Oakland: The A's signed pitcher Scott Dunn to a one-year deal.

Seattle: The Mariners agreed to one-year contract extension with utilityman Willie Bloomquist to lock him up through 2008.

Texas: The Rangers signed outfielder Frank Catalanotto to a three-year, $13 million contract with a club option for 2010.

East Division

Atlanta: All quiet with the Braves.

Florida: Other than dismissing manager Joe Girardi and hiring Fredi Gonzalez to replace him, the Marlins made only two other moves, acquiring right-hander Gregg from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for right-hander Resop. The Marlins also acquired right-handers Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens from the New York Mets in exchange for lefties Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas.

New York: The Mets signed Orlando Hernandez to a two-year contract for $13 million. Besides the minor deal with Marlins, the Mets traded pitchers Heath Bell and Royce Ring to San Diego for outfielder Ben Johnson and right-hander Jon Adkins. The Mets also signed free agents Moises Alou and Damion Easley, and declined the option on left-hander Tom Glavine's contract for 2007. The Mets also re-signed second baseman Jose Valentin to a one-year contract.

Philadelphia: The Phillies signed third baseman Wes Helms to a two-year contract and left-hander Jamie Moyer to a two-year extension.

Washington: The Nationals signed outfielder Michael Restovich to a one-year contract.

Central Division

Chicago: No one has been busier since the season ended than Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who signed manager Lou Piniella to a three-year, $10 million contract, and also landed the top free agent on the market, Alfonso Soriano, for a whopping $136 million over eight years. Hendry also re-signed third baseman Aramis Ramirez ($75 million over five years), pitcher Kerry Wood ($1.75 million for one year), catcher Henry Blanco ($5.25 million for two years) and plucked free-agent second baseman Mark DeRosa off the market for $13 million over three years).

At the GMs meetings in Naples, Fla., last week, Hendry acquired left-hander Cotts from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for right-hander Aardsma and Minor League left-hander Vasquez.

Cincinnati: The Reds signed free-agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a three-year contract through the 2009 season with a mutual option for 2010 for $14 million. The Reds also signed left-handed reliever Mike Stanton to a two-year contract, outfielder Bubba Crosby to a one-year contract and sent catcher LaRue to Kansas City for a player to be named.

Houston: The Astros doled out the biggest contract package in franchise history, $100 million over six years to free-agent outfielder Carlos Lee. Houston also added free-agent right-hander Woody Williams ($12.5 million over two years) and re-signed second baseman Craig Biggio to a one-year deal worth $5.15 million.

Milwaukee: The Brewers have been quiet thus far.

Pittsburgh: The Pirates haven't made any Major League trades or signings since season's end.

St. Louis: The Cardinals re-signed center fielder Jim Edmonds to a two-year deal for $19 million, and also re-signed Scott Spiezio to a two-year contract.

West Division

Arizona: The Diamondbacks have been quiet.

Colorado: The Rockies signed free-agent infielder Kazuo Matsui to a one-year contract, and exercised the 2007 option on right-hander Jason Jennings and pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim

Los Angeles: The Dodgers re-signed Nomar Garciaparra to a two-year deal worth $18.5 million, and signed free-agent center fielder Juan Pierre to a five-year contract for $44 million. Outfielder J.D. Drew exercised the opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent, and the Dodgers declined the 2007 option on pitcher Eric Gagne, making him a free agent. The Dodgers signed infielder Ramon Martinez to a one-year contract.

San Diego: The Padres acquired pitchers Bell and Ring from the New York Mets for outfielder Johnson and pitcher Adkins. San Diego also acquired Kouzmanoff and right-hander Brown from Cleveland for Barfield from the Cleveland Indians. San Diego picked up center fielder Mike Cameron's option.

San Francisco: The Giants declined the options on right-hander Jamey Wright and outfielder Steve Finley, making both free agents.

Jim Molony is a writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.