BUSY HOT STOVE CONTINUES: ROSS, IBANEZ, HANRAHAN, ETC.

While baseball is the one sport that truly has no offseason in terms of news and transactions, this Hot Stove season has been one for the ages. In brief (extreme brevity indeed):

The mega-pitcher and mega-hitter on the free agent board both signed with a mega-market team, Zack Greinke with the Dodgers and Josh Hamilton with the Angels; the Marlins and Blue Jays swung a deal that sent major stars to Toronto while Miami got back several A-list prospects; the Royals went for immediate help in getting James Shields and Wade Davis from Tampa Bay, who added to their prodigious cache of young talent with a haul that made heads turn; the Diamondbacks shipped 2011 #3 overall pick Trevor Bauer to Cleveland in a 3-team deal that landed Shin-Soo Choo in Cincinatti; and that’s just a start.

Almost daily big name talent, be it proven major leaguers or hot minor league prospects, are changing addresses this offseason and it’s all any observer can do to keep up with it. Here are the most recent moves:

  • Cody Ross, fresh off of a bounce-back year in Boston, signed with Arizona for three years and $26M. The 2010 playoff hero for San Francisco, Ross had a rough 2011 and made himself a lot of money in 2012 by posting 22 HR and a .267/.326/.481 line in Beantown.
  • The Red Sox, meanwhile, are zeroing in on Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan at this hour. The details are believed to include minor leaguers and possibly releiver Mark Meloncan going to Pittsburgh. 
  • Seattle has brought Raul Ibanez back for a third stint with a one year/$2.75M contract agreed to today. Ibanez, 40, has wielded a very potent bat as he has advanced in age and looks to take advantage of Safeco Field’s newly shortened fences.
  • The Pirates inked veteran lefty Francisco Liriano to a two-year/$14M deal. Such is the market of 2012. Liriano went 6-12 last year with the White Sox and Twins and has a career mark of 53-54 with a 4.40 ERA. But that, combined with the fact that he throws with his left hand, gets you $7M per year in AAV.

On a daily basis there are numerous transactions taking place that will shape the way the 2013 season starts. Of course, moves will be made in-season that will further adjust the balance of power in MLB. Stay tuned. With the action so fast and furious, you might want to check MLB.com’s Transactions page to see anything you may have missed.

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