A look back at the first half of November 2009 reveals interesting parallels with what we've seen so far this month. Last year the offseason began on November 5th, three days later than this year. However, the offseason deadlines have been moved up for 2010, so we're still on a similar pace. Burning up the hot stove a year ago:
Teams Extending Their Own Free Agents
- The Mariners signed Jack Wilson to a two-year, $10MM extension. Perhaps Jhonny Peralta's recent two-year, $11.25MM deal is the parallel. The Mariners do deserve credit for resisting Russell Branyan's demands for a two-year deal a year ago.
- The Braves signed Tim Hudson to a three-year, $28MM extension. One of the few early deals that worked out, this could match up with Ted Lilly's three-year, $33MM extension.
- The Cubs were close to an extension for John Grabow, who ultimately signed for two years and $7.5MM.
- The Red Sox signed Tim Wakefield to a two-year, $5MM extension.
- The Angels signed Bobby Abreu to a two-year, $19MM extension, and also locked up GM Tony Reagins.
- The White Sox signed Mark Kotsay to a one-year, $1.5MM deal. The Sox jumped out early this year too, re-upping Omar Vizquel.
- Several of these early extensions were at inflated prices, and in most cases teams would have been better off waiting.
Trades For Near Non-Tender Candidates
Mark Teahen, J.J. Hardy, and Jeremy Hermida were dealt. Akinori Iwamura fits here as well, as a player the Rays would have cut loose but the Pirates found worthwhile. None of them panned out. A few who could be dealt prior to the December 2nd non-tender deadline this year: Mike Napoli, Russell Martin, James Loney, Leo Nunez, Jason Bartlett, and Carlos Quentin.
Under The Radar Pickups
The Royals signed Wilson Betemit to a minor league deal, and the Nationals claimed reliever Doug Slaten off waivers from the Diamondbacks. Both were more useful than expected. The Royals have already made a couple of low-profile pickups this year in Joaquin Arias and Lance Zawadzki. Willie Eyre, Travis Blackley, Brent Dlugach, Joe Mather, and Justin James also changed teams this month.
Free Agent And Trade Rumors
- The Nationals showed early interest in Mark DeRosa and Mike Gonzalez. It appears they're being aggressive early this year too.
- The Yankees were focused on whether they'd retain Andy Pettitte, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui. This year they've got bigger concerns with Pettitte, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera.
- There were plenty of early suitors for Aroldis Chapman, who had not yet switched agents. The Reds weren't known to be in the mix. Of course, John Lackey, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay were filling up our pages too. This year it'll be about Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Adrian Beltre, Adam Dunn, and Victor Martinez.
- The big trade candidates were Roy Halladay, Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Milton Bradley, and Dan Uggla. This year it looks like Prince Fielder, and Zack Greinke. Matt Garza, James Shields, Matt Kemp, Mark Reynolds, Josh Willingham, and Uggla could also be popular rumor subjects.