MLB Free Agency Tracker: A Look at the Week's Top Signings, Targets, Rumors
MLB free agency is kicking into high gear in December, with some big names finally inking their new deals, leaving the remainder of the available players to feel out the market in an effort to maximize their return.
For all the deals that have been completed, however, there are teams left behind with packages that just weren't enough to bring in that top target.
The free agent market is still flooded with talent, and though these teams might be moving onto Plan B, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about moves that can still be made.
Here are some of the top signings, trades and rumors from the past week.
The R.A. Dickey Sign or Trade Saga Continues
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Anytime you're talking about dealing the reigning Cy Young award winner, expectations have to be at an extremely high level.
The New York Mets appear to be very willing to make a trade, and while a deal wasn't made during the winter meetings, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see something happen before the end of the year.
At the same time, they've offered him a three-year deal worth $25 million, while in the same breath blasting the way Dickey is approaching the offseason.
Definitely not an ideal situation for New York.
Could Brennan Boesch Be Headed to Seattle?
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In the midst of signing Anibal Sanchez to a five-year, $80 million contract extension this week, the Detroit Tigers made news in the outfield as well.
The team could use left-handed arms in their bullpen, and with the addition of Torii Hunter to their outfield, the sometimes streaky Brennan Boesch could potentially be expendable.
As was reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Seattle Mariners have been in talks with Detroit about moving Boesch, who boasts a career .729 OPS.
Youkilis Puts on the Pinstripes
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After spending the majority of his major league career playing for the Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis' tenure in Fenway ended last season when he was shipped off to Chicago where he became a welcome addition to the White Sox.
Youkilis made another change this week when he signed on to play third base for the New York Yankees, a team that he spent years playing highly contested games against.
With Alex Rodriguez sidelined for an extended duration of time heading into 2013, the signing makes plenty of sense and should pay dividends as the season moves along.
Indians, Rangers Could Be in Position to Land Nick Swisher
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With Josh Hamilton's departure from Texas, the hole in the Rangers outfield suddenly becomes a focal point this offseason.
The team will no doubt do whatever it takes to fill the void, and as Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted, Nick Swisher might be their prime target.
They're not alone, however, as the Cleveland Indians could also be a fit for Swisher's services.
Twins Sign Kevin Correia to Two-Year Deal
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After seeing their lack of formidable arms in the starting rotation lead to near 100-loss seasons in 2011 and 2012, the Minnesota Twins finally appear to be taking action.
They've traded center fielders Denard Span and Ben Revere in exchange for Vance Worley and two prime pitching prospects, and also inked former All-Star Kevin Correia to a two-year deal.
Correia fits the mold the Twins have been operating in nicely, as he lacks a strikeout pitch but induces a high percentage of ground balls.
Ichiro Will Re-Sign with Yankees
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With Nick Swisher testing the waters in free agency, the New York Yankees have taken steps toward filling one of their holes in the outfield by re-signing Ichiro Suzuki.
The two-year deal will pay Suzuki $13 million, a number that he could have exceeded in other markets.
In 67 games with the Yankees in 2012, Ichiro batted .322 and drove in 27 runs while posting an OPS just shy of .800.
Shin-Soo Choo Traded to Cincinnati
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It was no secret that Shin-Soo Choo could have been moved this offseason, and this past week the team lived up to the expectation, moving him to Cincinnati.
Choo will be a valuable offensive asset for the Reds in 2013, and could be a candidate to sign a contract extension at some point given his pending free agency at the end of the season.
Red Sox Could Be Nearing Deal with Dempster
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Moving to the Texas Rangers during the second half of last season, Ryan Dempster showed that he still has something left in the tank, winning seven of his 12 starts in the second half.
His ERA in Texas was more than double what it was in his 16 starts in Chicago (2.25), and at 35 years old he may be holding out for more than he's going to get this offseason.
He was offered a two-year deal worth $25 million from the Boston Red Sox (via the Chicago Tribune), but turned it down in hopes of a third year.
That notion was short-lived, however, as Dempster has since agreed to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million, pending a physical.
James Shields Traded to Kansas City
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In a bold move that surprised many in the baseball world, the Kansas City Royals traded away some top prospects, including Wil Myers, in an effort to shore up their starting rotation.
Adding James Shields as the team's ace will no doubt help their chances to contend in the AL Central that has some very beatable teams.
For Tampa Bay, the Rays are getting a stable of strong prospects that should help the team continue to build contending teams in the future.
While the Royals are showing plenty of ambition with their deal, they'll need to hand out plenty of money to Shields once he enters free agency after the 2014 season.
Anibal Sanchez Stays in Detroit
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Less than 24 hours after it appeared that Anibal Sanchez would be spending the next five years of his career pitching at Wrigley Field, the Cubs bowed out of the race, changing the situation completely.
The Cubs' offer to Sanchez was said to be worth $75 million according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, a number that the Tigers bested with their $80 million offer during the same timeframe.
With a disappointing finish to their season in 2012, the Tigers may have reached a bit with this deal, but at just 28 years old Sanchez has plenty of life in his arm and should be a force once again.
Halos Ink Josh Hamilton to 5-Year, $125 Million Deal
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The Texas Rangers had a huge decision to make when they sat down to hammer out a plan with Josh Hamilton's agent regarding the star outfielder's future.
He slowed a bit toward the middle of the season, but rebounded down the stretch and finished the season with 43 home runs and 128 RBI.
Hamilton didn't end up getting what he was looking for this offseason, as he has set his expected value at seven years and $175 million.
What he got instead was a five-year deal worth $125 million with the division rival Los Angeles Angels, further shifting the balance of power in the AL West.