With the World Series set to finish up this week, the month of November promises plenty of hot stove activity. As October comes to a close, let's turn back the calendar a year and take a look at November 2008 to get an idea of what kind of action we can expect in 2009.
- Tim kicked off the month by posting MLBTR's top 50 free agents of the offseason. Scrolling through the list with the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to spot plenty of surprises. And who knew then that the Yankees would end up with three of our top five free agents?
- A.J. Burnett opted out of his contract with the Blue Jays early in November, but had yet to sign by the end of the month. He was waiting on a five-year offer that he eventually got from the Yankees.
- It looked like the St. Louis Cardinals were the frontrunners to acquire Matt Holliday, but, in a surprise move, it was the Oakland A's that dealt for the outfielder. Of course, it was a brief stay in Oakland for Holliday, who ended up in St. Louis a few months later.
- The Houston Astros signed LaTroy Hawkins, who turned out to be a key piece in their bullpen. He cut his 2008 ERA nearly in half in 2009. Jeremy Affeldt did the same thing for the San Francisco Giants, who signed him to a two-year deal in November.
- The Yankees acquired Nick Swisher from the White Sox, in a deal that looked lopsided then and looks even more lopsided a year later.
- The Florida Marlins made a few moves, including trading Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham to the Nationals. They also dealt Kevin Gregg to the Cubs, signaling the end of the Kerry Wood era in Chicago.
- Mike Mussina announced his retirement, while Greg Maddux looked likely to call it quits too. Maddux officially announced his retirement in early December, and I have to admit that I missed watching him pitch this season.
- The Yankees made a big offer to C.C. Sabathia, but not as big as the one he later accepted from them. By the end of the month, the Angels had emerged as players for C.C. as well. It's easy to forget that the Angels were heavily involved in both the Mark Teixeira and Sabathia talks, before losing out on both to New York.
- After winning the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies got some bad news, learning that Chase Utley would miss 4-6 months following hip surgery. Utley ended up making a speedy recovery from the surgery, returning for Opening Day 2009.
- The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Coco Crisp from the Boston Red Sox.
- Rumors that didn't pan out? There were quite a few, including Casey Blake to the Twins, Mark Teahen to the Cubs, and Andy Pettitte to the Dodgers.
Any early predictions for what we might see this November?