February 2nd isn't just known for groundhogs looking at their shadows or Bill Murray getting stuck in time warps. Some notable moves have taken place as well...
- The Blue Jays signed Kevin Gregg one year ago today. The one-year, $2.75MM contract (with two option years) was seen as a surprising move for the Jays given that they weren't expected to spend money on a closer, but Gregg delivered a solid season at the back of the Toronto bullpen. Gregg rebuilt enough value to become a Type B free agent, and thus netted the Jays a compensation round draft pick when they declined his options and the right-hander signed with Baltimore.
- On this day in 2009, the Mets signed Oliver Perez to a three-year, $36MM contract that will go down as one of the worst deals in the history of the franchise. Perez has a 6.81 ERA in 31 games (21 of them starts) over the last two seasons, battling injuries and raising the ire of fans, Mets management and his own teammates when he refused a minor league assignment last year.
- The Mets made a better pitching transaction the year prior, acquiring Johan Santana from the Twins for a package of four prospects. Santana signed a new six-year, $137.5MM deal with New York and has delivered a 2.85 ERA and 3.02 K/BB ratio in 88 starts for the team. Santana's performance dipped a bit last year, however, and he will be out until next summer after undergoing left shoulder surgery. As for Minnesota, only one of the four prospects they got back for Santana is still with the organization -- minor league right-hander Deolis Guerra. The Twins released Philip Humber and dealt Kevin Mulvey and Carlos Gomez for Jon Rauch and J.J. Hardy, respectively. Those two players, Rauch especially, played key roles in the Twins' back-to-back AL Central titles.
- Sammy Sosa officially parted ways with the Cubs when he was traded to the Orioles in 2005 in exchange for Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Dave Crouthers. That deal was finalized on this day six years ago, and Sosa proceeded to deliver just a .671 OPS in his lone season with the O's.
- After cracking the 50-homer plateau in 1998, Greg Vaughn was dealt from the NL champion Padres (along with Mark Sweeney) to Cincinnati in exchange for Reggie Sanders, Damian Jackson and Josh Harris on this day in 1999. Vaughn became the first player in history to be swapped after a 50-homer season, and he followed his big year up with 45 homers for the Reds in 1999 before leaving for free agency and a deal with Tampa Bay. Sanders had a tremendous 1999 season himself, posting a .904 OPS that actually topped Vaughn (.881 OPS) that year.
- Soon after the St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles, the franchise released Satchel Paige on this day in 1954. Paige had a 3.28 ERA over the previous two seasons with the Browns and was coming off two All-Star appearances, but the legendary Negro Leagues star was 47 years old (though Paige's age was always in some dispute). Paige pitched minor league ball in the Phillies' system from 1956-58, started five games for Portland of the PCL in 1961 and then, incredibly, returned to the majors in 1965 to start one game for the Kansas City A's. At age 54, Paige pitched three scoreless innings against Boston, holding the Red Sox to one hit.
- Also of note, it was on this day in 1936 that the inaugural Hall of Fame class was announced. Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner were the first five players to be inducted to Cooperstown.
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