On this date last year, the White Sox signed Andruw Jones and the Blue Jays locked up John McDonald. Those deals were relatively small, but November 25th has traditionally been a busy day for hot stove action. Here's a quick recap:
- On this date in 2005, the Phillies sent Jim Thome to the White Sox for a package that included Aaron Rowand and Gio Gonzalez. Thome went on to hit 124 homers in four seasons for the White Sox, but the Phillies didn't miss him too much. Ryan Howard developed into an offensive force and replaced Thome's bat in the middle of Philadelphia's order. The White Sox didn't miss Gonzalez for long – they re-acquired him along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia one year later. Meanwhile, Rowand turned in one mediocre season and one excellent season before signing a free agent contract with the Giants.
- The Phillies-White Sox swap may not have a clear winner, but this 2003 trade certainly does. Seven years ago today, the Cubs sent Hee-Seop Choi and Mike Nannini to the Marlins for Derrek Lee. The Marlins would soon flip Choi to Los Angeles with Brad Penny in the deal that sent Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota and Juan Encarnacion to Florida. The Cubs got years of All-Star production from Lee, who posted a .298/.378/.524 line in seven seasons in Chicago.
- Back in 1998, the Yankees signed free agent center fielder Bernie Williams to a seven-year $87.5MM deal. The Yankees had been offering $60MM, so Buster Olney wrote in the New York Times that "the team caved… in a stunning reversal." The Red Sox also had interest in Williams, and the Yankees had their sights on Albert Belle as a backup plan until the Orioles offered him $65MM over five years. Ultimately, Williams said "It came down to the fact that I wanted to be a Yankee."