Why wait for the Winter Meetings?
That seemed to be the message across Major League Baseball on Tuesday, by far the busiest day of the offseason thus far. The Red Sox agreed to terms with A.J. Pierzynski to start the day, and Jacoby Ellsbury's pending deal with the Yankees served as the other major bookend.
Meanwhile, the Rays traded for a catcher and a potential closer they'd been interested in for years. The Tigers found a closer. The A's bolstered their bullpen -- twice, actually -- and added to their outfield mix. The Astros made their first big move. The Marlins zeroed in on a big-name catcher. And that's just the start of it.
Seriously, given the way Tuesday played out, what's left to do next week at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort? Hang out with Mickey and Minnie?
There's a lot left to be settled, of course. Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among the high-profile free agents available, and there's still an expectation that Rays ace David Price will be traded. But before we look too far forward, let's recap the busy stretch that left baseball's Hot Stove completely ablaze, as MLB.com's Richard Justice writes.
The Yankees paid up for Ellsbury amid a spending spree reminiscent of their 2008-09 offseason, raising some questions about their pursuit of Cano, as MLB.com's Bryan Hoch writes. Ellsbury's deal is for seven years and $153 million, with an eighth-year option.
While they were at it, the Bombers officially announced their five-year, $85 million deal with catcher Brian McCann. He'll be introduced in the Bronx on Thursday. According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, New York also is close to signing Kelly Johnson, who could play some second base if Cano signs elsewhere.
The Red Sox made their first big move of the offseason, as MLB.com's Ian Browne reports the World Series champs have agreed to a one-year contract with Pierzynski, reportedly worth $8.25 million.
The Rays pulled off a three-team trade with the Reds and D-backs, reeling in catcher Ryan Hanigan and reliever Heath Bell. Tampa Bay also agreed to a three-year extension with Hanigan, as MLB.com's Bill Chastain reported. With Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton already on board, Andrew Friedman might have an extra catcher to deal. He also has the game's hottest commodity in Price.
The Tigers reportedly found their closer in veteran Joe Nathan, as MLB.com's Jason Beck writes.
Could Carlos Beltran return to Kansas City? MLB.com's Dick Kaegel wrote about the free agent's meeting with the Royals. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, opposing clubs are convinced that Beltran is bound for a KC reunion.
The Twins officially announced the acquisition of Ricky Nolasco on a four-year, $48 million deal, the largest free-agent signing in club history.
The A's had another busy day, as MLB.com's Jane Lee reports, trading for outfielder Craig Gentry and right-hander Josh Lindblom before acquiring setup man Luke Gregerson. They could stay busy at the Winter Meetings, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Oakland is likely to trade starter Brett Anderson.
On the other side of that deal with Oakland, Texas acquired its leading left-field candidate in Michael Choice, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Also, the Rangers are looking at Kurt Suzuki to pair with Geovany Soto behind the plate.
The Astros checked a big item off their offseason to-do list by trading for Dexter Fowler, as MLB.com's Brian McTaggart writes. The former Rockies catalyst should hit atop their order and start in center field.
MLB.com's Greg Johns writes that the Mariners could make some noise at the Winter Meetings. Meanwhile, ESPNNewYork.com reported that Seattle has emerged as a major player in the bidding for Cano.
The Marlins made a big splash, agreeing to terms on a three-year, $21 million deal with former Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Curtis Granderson met with Sandy Alderson on Sunday, and MLB.com's Anthony DiComo took a look at how the power-hitting outfielder would fit with the Mets.
The Phillies added a reliever in Brad Lincoln and a backup catcher in Wil Nieves, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
Free-agent first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he's been medically cleared for full baseball activities. Hart previously said he's heard from several interested teams, including the Brewers, Rays, Red Sox and Rockies.
Despite plenty of speculation, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports and MLB Network tweeted that the Reds are unlikely to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips.
The Dodgers are making progress toward retaining free-agent reliever Brian Wilson, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Colorado has reportedly agreed to terms with a new first baseman in Justin Morneau, as MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes. The Rockies also picked up right-hander Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes by parting with Fowler.
The Padres bolstered their offense, particularly against right-handed pitching, by acquiring outfielder Seth Smith from the A's.