While New Year's Day historically hasn't featured many transactions, things generally start picking up again by the second day of the year. Here's a look at some of the more notable moves to occur on January 2nd over the years....
- Two interesting signings occurred just one year ago, when the Cubs inked Marlon Byrd to a three-year, $15MM contract and the Giants signed Santiago Casilla to a minor league deal. While Byrd had a successful season for the Cubs and earned his first All-Star berth, Casilla had the more significant impact on the 2010 pennant race. After being called up in May, the right-hander set career bests with a 1.95 ERA over 55 1/3 innings for the World Champions.
- On this day in 2003, the Cubs signed Rod Beck, who was coming off Tommy John surgery at the time. It was an eventful year for Beck; he made national headlines by welcoming fans to drop by his mobile home in Iowa for autographs and free beer. He was eventually traded to San Diego, where he replaced an injured Trevor Hoffman by recording a 1.78 ERA and 20 saves, earning the NL's Comeback Player of the Year award.
- In a pre-Moneyball world, Oakland's signing of Scott Hatteberg on this day in 2002 probably didn't raise many eyebrows. However, Hatteberg enjoyed the best year of his career to date, posting a .374 OBP and 15 homers for the Athletics, and was later immortalized as "Pickin' Machine" in Michael Lewis' book.
- Jamie Moyer was already a well-traveled veteran when the Red Sox signed him on January 2nd, 1996. Boston was Moyer's fifth team, but it was number six that stuck - prior to the trade deadline, the Red Sox sent the left-hander to Seattle, where Moyer spent the next ten years.
- On the same day Moyer signed with Boston, the Reds brought back a key player from their 1990 World Champion squad: Eric Davis. Plagued by injuries, Davis had hit just .227/.317/.368 in 957 plate appearances since leaving Cincinnati. He bounced back nicely in '96 for the Reds though, with 26 home runs and a .917 OPS.
- After earning an All-Star berth for his first half, Frank Viola had a disastrous second half for the Mets in 1991, losing ten games and pitching to a 5.53 ERA following the All-Star break. That ended his stint in New York, resulting in Boston signing him on this day in 1992. Viola's time in Boston was cut short by Tommy John surgery in 1994, but the former Cy Young winner pitched well to that point, with a 3.40 ERA in 70 starts for the Red Sox.