Description: Jerry Hairston Jr. is retiring. SOURCE: Bruce Levine, ESPN Chicago
Insight: He's already got a broadcasting job with the Dodgers. Hairston hit .257 over the course of 4,387 major league at bats. He drove in 420 runs while smacking 70 HR. He spent his first several seasons in Baltimore before moving around to Chicago, Texas, Cincinnati, New York, San Diego, Milwaukee, Washington and Los Angeles in the later part of his career. He played every position during his career except catcher.
Description: The Pirated inked righthander Edinson Volquez to a one-year deal on Wednesday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: He'll earn $5 million next season. Volquez hasn't been fantasy relevant since 2007 when he won 17 games for Cincinnati. In 33 appearances last season, Volquez went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA. He figures to be a back of the rotation starter/long relief option for Pittsburgh in 2014.
Description: The Mariners have signed 1B/OF Corey Hart to a one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of cbssports.com. Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com reports the deal is for $5 million with $8 million in incentives.
Insight: Hart missed all of 2013 after having knee surgery but he averaged .277/.335/.495 with 24 homers, 78 RBI and 70 runs per season from 2007-12 with the Brewers. He'll serve as a first baseman and designated hitter for Seattle.
Description: The Marlins have traded 1B/OF Logan Morrison to the Mariners for pitcher Carter Capps, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Insight: Morrison hit 23 homers and had a .798 OPS in 2011 but has played just 178 games over the last two seasons with 17 homers, 72 RBI and a .708 OPS in that span. He's unlikely to be a strong fantasy option with the M's.
Description: Boston manager John Farrell said Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino will both be candidates to lead off next season. SOURCE: Mike Silverman, Boston Herald
Insight: Jacoby Ellsbury had been the team's leadoff hitter for the previous six seasons but he signed with New York last week. Victorino hit .194 out of the leadoff spot last season (7-for-36) while Nava hit .289 (11-for-38). Dustin Pedroia will stay in the three hole for Boston with David Ortiz occupying the cleanup spot.
Description: The Marlins and first baseman Garrett Jones have agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract.
Insight: The deal became official when Jones passed his physical on Tuesday. He was let go by the Pirates earlier this offseason. Now that Jones (.233, 15 HR, 51 RBI in 2013) is signed, the next move for Miami is to trade Logan Morrison (.242, 6 HR, 36 RBI).
Description: After being away from the game for almost four years, lefthanded starter Mark Mulder has decided to come out of retirement and resume his career. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Mulder is only 36 so it's not inconceivable that he could make a comeback. Scouts who have seen him pitch this offseason have clocked his fastball in the high 80s. Mulder hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008.
Mark Prior, SP
12/10/2013 8:59:00 PM
Description: Righthanded starter Mark Prior has announced his retirement. SOURCE: Mike Bernardino, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Insight: Prior pitched in Triple-A last season but never came close to cracking a big league roster. He'll finish his career with 42 wins, 29 losses and a 3.51 ERA in 106 starts.
Description: The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Mark Trumbo from the Angels on Tuesday.
Insight: Trumbo was the center piece of a three-team trade that saw the Angels get lefthanded starter Hector Santiago as well as top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs. The White Sox received outfielder Adam Eaton as part of the swap. Trumbo hit just .234 last season and he could be a liability defensively. He's got great power though (34 HR, 100 RBI in 2013) and playing at hitter-friendly Chase Field should help his numbers.
Description: Atlanta C/LF Evan Gattis was told that he would be the everyday catcher in 2014 by manager Fredi Gonzalez, according to a report by Kevin McAlpin.
Insight: Gattis starrted 38 games at catcher and 47 in the outfield last season, but with Brian McCann jumping ship, he'll get the first chance at the job behind the plate. Gattis batted .243 with 21 HR and 65 RBI last season, but most of the damage was done in the first half of the season. His first half OPS was .873 vs. .678 after the break.
Description: Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, is expected to be ready for Day 1 of Spring Training.
Insight: Strasburg didn't get much run support last season (3.47 RS was tenth-worst in the National League) but that shouldn't keep owners from taking him early in the 2014 fantasy draft as he posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 191 Ks in 183 IP.
Description: Rajai Davis' new deal with the Tigers will pay him $10 million over the next two seasons. SOURCE: Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sportnet
Insight: Davis has 50-steal potential but he probably won't get close to that while playing in Detroit. He's going to platoon with Andy Dirks in left field. In 331 at-bats for Toronto in 2013, Davis produced six homers, 24 RBI and 49 runs scored.
Description: Free agent righthander Roy Halladay will retire, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Insight: Always the perfectionist, Halladay struggled with shoulder problems and couldn't pitch at his usual high level. If the rumors are correct, he'll finish his career with a 203-105 record, 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP and 2,117 stikeouts.
Description: Baltimore righthander Bud Norris could be asked to close next season. SOURCE: Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun
Insight: The O's traded closer Jim Johnson to Oakland earlier this week. Norris would have more fantasy value as a ninth inning man than he would as a starter but it's probably not going to happen. Tommy Hunter throws harder and has better stuff than Norris. Plus, the O's need Norris in the rotation now that Scott Feldman has signed with Houston.
Description: According to ESPN, Matt Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, believes Kemp will be traded before the season starts.
Insight: It would probably take a handful of prospects to get the deal done. Kemp's primary suitors appear to be the Red Sox and Mariners. Kemp missed most of last season with ankle and shoulder injuries.
Description: Brian Wilson's new one-year deal with the Dodgers is worth $10 million. SOURCE: Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
Insight: Ten million to be a setup man? We knew the Dodgers had a lot of money but this is ridiculous. Wilson isn't a fantasy candidate for the time being but that could change if Kenley Jansen suffers an injury or starts pitching poorly.
Description: Righthanded reliever Edward Mujica has agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract with Boston. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Mujica got off to a nice start last season (2.20 ERA, 26 saves before the All-Star break) but fell apart in the second half (11.05 ERA in September). If he returns to his pre-All-Star break form, he'll be a solid addition to what is already one of the stronger bullpens in the major leagues. Mujica won't be a candidate to close unless Koji Uehara gets injured.
Description: Left fielder Nate McLouth has signed a two-year contract with the Nationals. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: The deal is worth $10.75 million. It's a lot of money to give a backup outfielder but when you consider Jayson Werth's injury history as well as Bryce Harper's, it could end up being a wise move. McLouth doesn't hit for much power (just 12 HR last season) but he's got decent speed (30 steals on 37 attempts in 2013).
Description: The Yankees have brought back starter Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year pact worth $16 million.
Insight: Kuroda had a 3.31 ERA and a 1.162 WHIP in 2013, nearly identical to the 3.32 ERA and 1.165 ERA he had in his first season with New York. However, his record fell to 11-13 from 16-11. He's had an ERA of 3.76 or lower and a WHIP of no higher than 1.216 in his six major league seasons.
Description: According to Sean McAdam of csnne.com, the Red Sox have re-signed first baseman Mike Napoli to a two-year deal worth $32 million.
Insight: We never expected Napoli to leave the Red Sox after he changed the clubhouse culture, ushered in the bearded brotherhood and brought a World Series title to Boston in his first season. Just remember he'll have significantly less fantasy value in 2014 because he won't be eligible at catcher after playing zero innings there in 2013.
Description: According to ESPN.com, Carlos Beltran has agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with the New York Yankees.
Insight: What, you thought the Yankees were just going to sit tight after losing Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson Friday? Beltran will return to the city he played in from 2005-2011 as a member of the Mets. He played 296 games and hit .282 with 56 homers, 181 RBI and an .836 OPS with the Cardinals over the last two seasons.
Description: The Marlins have signed Rafael Furcal to a one-year contract.
Insight: Furcal is expected to start at second base. He missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In his most recent season, Furcal batted .264 with five homers, 49 RBI, 69 runs and 12 steals in 121 games.
Description: Kelly Johnson is in line to be the Yankees starting second baseman after finalizing a one-year, $3 million contract Friday.
Insight: Robinson Cano agreed to a 10-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, opening up a spot at second base for Johnson. The veteran also can play third if Alex Rodriguez' suspension is upheld. Johnson hit .235 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI and a .715 OPS in 118 games with the Rays last season and has averaged .254 with 16 homers, 57 RBI, 11 steals and a .765 OPS since he became a full-time player in 2007.
Description: The Mariners and second baseman Robinson Cano have come to terms on a new 10-year, $240 million deal.
Insight: Cano is the crown jewel of this year's free agent class. He's a career .309 hitter with an .860 OPS. Cano won't have a great lineup around him but we're not concerned about it affecting his fantasy value. As far as second basemen go, he's the best there is.
Description: The Mets have agreed to terms with outfielder Curtis Granderson, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Insight: He'll make $60 million over four seasons. It's a nice signing for the Mets, but fantasy owners aren't going to like him playing in spacious Citi Field. Granderson averaged 36 homers from 2010-2012 in Yankee Stadium, but 23 homers in Detroit from 2006-2009. Fantasy owners and Mets fans should expect power totals more in line with his Detroit days, but without the speed.
Description: Outfielder Norichika Aoki has been traded from Milwaukee to Kansas City.
Insight: Aoki hasn't shown a lot of power, but he's averaged 25 SB in his to seasons with Milwaukee. If he earns a spot at the top of the Royals lineup he could have a solid value as a No. 3 fantasy outfield. He's a career .287 hitter with a .355 OBP and a .755 OPS.
Description: Paul Konerko isn't going anywhere. The veteran first baseman has agreed to a $2.5 million contract that will keep him in Chicago for another season. SOURCE: Scott Merkin, MLB.com
Insight: Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn are likely to see most of the reps at first base which means Konerko probably won't be an everyday player anymore. Because of this, his fantasy use will be limited to AL-only formats.
Description: The Royals have offered free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran a three-year, $48 million deal and there's a good chance he'll end up taking it.
Insight: Tacoma News Tribune reporter Bob Dutton has pegged the Royals as the clear favorites to land Beltran. The 36-year-old started his career in Kansas City and enjoyed three straight 20 HR/100 RBI seasons there between 2001 and 2003.
Description: Talks seem to be heating up between free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets. SOURCE: Adam Rubin, ESPN New York
Insight: With Jacoby Ellsbury playing center field and Robinson Cano still unsigned, Granderson is no longer a priority for the Yankees. The two sides are discussing a three-year contract though Granderson's camp is pushing for a four-year pact. With the Winter Meetings coming up, Granderson should make his decision in the near future.
Description: Kelly Johnson is headed to the Yankees. According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, his new deal is worth between $2.75 and $3 million.
Insight: It's a one-year contract. Johnson (.235, 16 HR, 52 RBI) played all over the field in Tampa Bay last season including left field and three out of the four infield positions (he didn't play shortstop). He could be an option for the Yankees at second base should Robinson Cano sign with another team.
Description: Justin Morneau's new deal with the Rockies will pay him $13 million over two years. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: Morneau's power disappeared over the final month of the season but he should find it again in Colorado. Coors Field had the highest park factor in the majors last season. Twenty-five homers with an average in the .270 range seems like a reasonable expectation for fantasy owners.
Description: The Rangers sent outfielder Craig Gentry to Oakland as part of a four-player swap. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Gentry was a solid platoon guy for Texas last season, batting .280 with 22 RBI in 246 at bats. The problem is the A's already have a guy like that in Seth Smith. Gentry is only going to see playing time if one of Oakland's starters (Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick) gets injured. Until that happens, he won't have any fantasy significance.
Description: The D'Backs traded righthander Heath Bell to the Rays on Monday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: With Fernando Rodney likely to leave in free agency, Bell should take over the closer's role for Tampa Bay. It's always an adventure with Bell but the good news is, he should have plenty of opportunities for saves. He's worth thinking about in the later rounds of this year's fantasy draft.
Description: The Dodgers are close to re-signing righthanded relief pitcher Brian Wilson. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: That's not what fantasy owners wanted to hear. Wilson was hoping to land a ninth inning job this offseason but instead he's coming back to setup Kenley Jansen. Wilson could overtake Jansen if he struggles in the early going or gets hurt. Wilson's contract will be a one-year deal.
Description: The Astros acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler on Monday for Brandon Barnes and righthander Jordan Lyles. SOURCE: Rockies on Twitter
Insight: Fowler got off to a hot start lin Colorado last season but injuries led to a second half slump (.221 AVG after the All-Star break). It will be interesting to see how this trade affects the progression of George Springer, who was arguably the best hitter in minor league baseball last season. Fowler and Springer both play center field.
Description: The Rockies are close to signing Justin Morneau to a two-year contract. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau hasn't been an All-Star since 2010 and the .259 clip he hit for last season was well below his career average (.277). Then again, if he was ever going to have a bounceback season, hitter-friendly Coors Field is the perfect park for him to do it in.
Description: The Yankees and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury have agreed to a seven-year, $153 million deal. SOURCE: Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News
Insight: So much for the Yankees shrinking their payroll. In the last two weeks, they've spent almost $240 million on two players (Ellsbury and Brian McCann). Ellsbury should do well in the Bronx and could be a 20-HR threat with the short porch out in right field. More importantly though, this leaves New York with almost no money left to spend on Robinson Cano. It will be interesting to see what teams go after Cano now that the Yankees are almost certainly out of the running for him.
Description: According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, the Mariners have become a serious player for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano.
Insight: The Yankees and Cano haven't been seeing eye to eye in contract talks and at this point the odds of him returning to the Bronx are less than 50 percent. The M's are reportedly offering Cano an eight-year deal worth $200 million. The Yankees previously offered him seven years at $160 million. Cano's fantasy value could take a big hit if he left the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium to play at spacious Safeco Field in Seattle.
Description: The Marlins have signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year deal worth $21 million. SOURCE: Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
Insight: Saltalamacchia was also being pursued by Minnesota. He ended up choosing the Marlins because they were the only team that offered him three years. He's a serviceable fantasy catcher though he tends to strike out a lot (139 K's in 425 at bats last season).
Description: Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal with Boston. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: It's a nice haul for the soon-to-be 37-year-old. Pierzynski could be a liability defensively but he rarely gets injured and his .283 lifetime batting average is extremely impressive for a player at his position. The Pierzynski signing marks the end of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Era in Boston.
Description: The A's have acquired closer Jim Johnson in a trade with Baltimore.
Insight: The Orioles will receive second baseman Jemile Weeks. No player in the majors has more saves than Johnson over the last two seasons (101 saves in 113 chances). He's replacing Grant Balfour, who became a free agent after the season.
Description: Orioles closer Jim Johnson appears to be on the Dodgers' radar. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: It's unlikely the O's will be able to keep Johnson when he hits free agency in 2015 so they're looking to trade him now. It's unknown if the Dodgers would ask Johnson to close or have him setup ahead of current closer Kenley Jansen.
Description: The Yankees dealt catcher Ian Stewart to the Pirates on Monday. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: The Pirates are giving the Yanks a player to be named later. With Brian McCann inked to a five-year contract, Stewart was only going to be a backup if he stayed in New York. Then again, that's all he'll be in Pittsburgh with Russell Martin slated to get the lion's share of the work behind the plate.
Description: The Yankees are taking a hard stance with second baseman Robinson Cano. According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, they won't spend more than $200 million to keep him.
Insight: That spells trouble for Cano, who was hoping for at least a nine-year, $252 million deal. It will be interesting to see if other teams start getting involved now that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has drawn a line in the sand.
Description: Now that the A's have signed lefthander Scott Kazmir, they're probably out of the running for Bartolo Colon. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: In an unusual move, Billy Beane opened up his pocket book and forked over $22 million for Kazmir, who figures to be a four or five starter at best. Given the team's tight budget, Colon is probably out of the equation. The 40-year-old had a resurgent season in 2013 and shouldn't have any difficulty securing a new contract.
Description: Pitcher Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year deal with Minnesota, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.
Insight: It's probably a good move for Hughes to get out of New York. He has talent, but hasn't shown it since around 2010. Out of the spotlight, he may yet develop into a fantasy-worthy starting pitcher.
Description: The Rockies are hoping to sign free agent first baseman Justin Morneau before the Winter Meetings begin on December 9th. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau (.259, 17 HR, 77 RBI) was a borderline fantasy player last season and he should see a nice boost in production from the hitter-friendly conditions at Coors Field, assuming the two sides can work out a deal. Morneau would be replacing Todd Helton at first base.
Description: The Mets are making a play for free agent righthander Bronson Arroyo. SOURCE: Chris Cotillo, SB Nation
Insight: The Giants had been the frontrunner for Arroyo until they signed Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong to fill out their starting rotation. Arroyo is 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA in four career starts at Citi Field.
Description: The Giants have re-signed starter Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: The contract details haven't been released yet but it's likely he'll be getting less than the $5 million he made last season. Vogelsong (4-6, 5.73 ERA) will join Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner in the Giants' starting rotation.
Description: Righthander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a four-year, $49 million deal with Minnesota. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Nolasco isn't an ace but with such little talent in this year's free agent pool, he still got a big pay day. He'll get his 200 innings in Minnesota and has posted double-digit wins in six consecutive seasons.
Description: ESPN's Jim Bowden suspects free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will re-sign with Boston.
Insight: If Ellsbury can get a seven-year deal from Washington or Texas, he'll take it. However, it's unlikely that any team would offer him that many years and Bowden seems to believe Ellsbury would be willing to give Boston at least a little bit of a hometown discount. If Boston decides the price to keep Ellsbury is too high, they'll probably opt to use Jackie Bradley in center field next season.
Description: Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun said he'd be open to playing right field next season. SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Insight: Wednesday marked Braun's first public comments since getting suspended for performance enhancing drugs in July. Moving to right would solidify Khris Davis' place in the starting lineup, though it wouldn't have much of an impact on Braun's output. Braun, a third baseman early in his career, said he would not be open to playing that position again.
Description: If the Red Sox want to keep Jarrod Saltalamacchia, they may have to wait in line. The free agent catcher is also being pursued by the Blue Jays, Rockies and Twins according to NESN's Jen Slothower.
Insight: Boston struck out with Carlos Ruiz (re-signed with Philadelphia) and Brian McCann (Yankees), which leaves Salty and veteran A.J. Pierzynski as the top catchers left on the market. The Twins are in the running because they've decided to make Joe Mauer a full-time first baseman. Saltalamacchia (.273, 14 HR, 65 RBI) had his moments in 2013 but inconsistency caused him to lose his starting job to David Ross in the postseason.
Description: Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Jones hit .233 last season, but has some pop in his bat with 15 HR and 51 RBI in 403 at-bats. He hit 27 homers in 2012, but the Pirates obviously didn't want to pay the price needed to keep him.
Description: Righthander Dan Haren will pitch in Chavez Ravine next season on a one-year contract.
Insight: He'll earn $10 million in 2014. Haren went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.238 WHIP in Washington last season. Haren hasn't been fantasy-relevant in a few years but at least he's been able to stay healthy (30 or more starts in each of his last three seasons).
Description: Jhonny Peralta's four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals will become official as soon as he passes his physical. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: Peralta missed roughly a third of the season while serving a PED suspension last summer but when he was out there, he was very productive (.303, 11 HR, 55 RBI). The deal also represents a sizable raise for Peralta, who earned $6 million in 2013.
Description: Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta is close to signing a multi-year deal with St. Louis. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: The shortstop duo of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma struggled mightily in the World Series (combined 1-for-20) so Peralta represents an obvious upgrade. We'll have contract details when the deal becomes official.
Description: Brian McCann's new contract with the Yankees is worth $85 million over the next five seasons. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: It makes him the second-highest paid catcher in the major leagues (Joe Mauer is the highest). McCann is a massive upgrade over last year's starting catcher Chris Stewart but it's still a slight overpay when you consider McCann is hitting just .242 over his last two seasons.
Description: Free agent catcher Brian McCann is close to joining the Yankees.
Insight: Dallas Morning News beat writer Evan Grant says the two sides are "on the verge" of an agreement. Obviously no details will be released until it becomes official but it's likely McCann will get nine figures in the deal.
Description: The Red Sox have checked in on Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: With Jacoby Ellsbury likely headed elsewhere, Kemp is about as good a replacement as you could find in center field. The problem is, he won't come any cheaper than Ellsbury would have (he still has six years and $130 million remaining on his contract) and that was the whole point of dumping Ellsbury in the first place. The Red Sox and Dodgers do have a history after 2012's mega-deal that brought Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles (the only player of note Boston received was James Loney) but a deal involving Kemp seems unlikely at this point.
Description: The Angels traded center fielder Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals Friday for David Freese and Fernando Salas.
Insight: The speedy Bourjos played just 55 games in 2013 due to injuries and hit .274 with 10 steals. He'll start in center field for the Cardinals while the team shifts Matt Carpenter to third to make room for prospect Kolten Wong at second.
Description: The Angels have acquired third baseman David Freese and reliever Fernando Salas from the Cardinals for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.
Insight: Freese, the 2011 ALCS and World Series MVP and a 2012 NL All-Star, hit just .262 with nine homers, 60 RBI and a .721 OPS in 138 games this past season before hitting under .200 in all three postseason series.
Description: The Royals added minor league RP Michael Mariot to their 40-man roster.
Insight: Mariot had 11 saves with a 3.56 ERA and 1.385 WHIP in the minors last season. The move was to protect him from being a Rule 5 Draft casualty. The Royals already have an excellent closer in Greg Holland (47 saves, 1.21 ERA, 0.867 WHIP) so Mariot likely doesn't have much fantasy value in 2014.
Description: The Rockies signed LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year, $2.25 million contract Thursday.
Insight: The 40-year-old Hawkins reportedly will serve as the Rockies closer over Rex Brothers, according to the Denver Post. Hawkins, who has been around since the mid-1990s, threw 70 2/3 innings and had a 2.93 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 13 saves this past season with the Mets. He played with Colorado in 2007 and had a 3.42 ERA in 55 1/3 innings.
Description: The Kansas City Royals signed Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract Thursday.
Insight: After four seasons with Seattle, Vargas fired 150 innings and went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 24 starts with the Angels in 2013. He'll presumably take former Angel Ervin Santana's spot in the Royals rotation. He's a mediocre fantasy option due to his high WHIP and lack of Ks.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Rangers have agreed to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder.
Insight: The Rangers wanted to open up second base for top prospect Jurickson Profar, and getting rid of Fielder's contract may allow Detroit to re-sign Max Scherzer. Kinsler has produced two 30-30 seasons but he has averaged just 16 homers, 18 steals and 72 RBI the last two seasons. His fantasy value doesn't change much from the trade.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Tigers and Rangers have agreed to swap Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals. Fielder also has to waive his limited no-trade clause that includes Texas, but he's expected to do so.
Insight: Fielder is coming off a down year in which he hit .279 with 25 homers, 106 RBI and an .819 OPS. He's signed for another seven years. Historically, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been a much better park for hitters than Comerica Park but it wasn't last season according to MLB Park Factors.
Description: A bizarre scene unfolded Wednesday when an outraged Alex Rodriguez stormed out of his arbitration hearing after learning commissioner Bud Selig would not be asked to testify. Rodriguez is appealing the 211-game suspension he was given last August. SOURCE: ESPN New York
Insight: Multiple sources suspect Rodrgiuez's tantrum, which included him pounding his fist on the table and cursing, may have been staged. The fact that Rodriguez's representatives released a statement almost immediately after he left the hearing would lend credence to that hypothesis. This case may have to be resolved in federal court.
Description: Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter announced his retirement on Wednesday. SOURCE: Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Insight: Injuries caught up to him at the end but there's no doubt that Carpenter was one of the most successful pitchers of his generation. He'll walk away with 144 victories across 15 major league seasons.
Description: The Josh Johnson sweepstakes is over. The former Marlins and Blue Jays righthander is headed to San Diego on a one-year contract. SOURCE: ESPN.com
Insight: He'll earn $8 million next season. It's a nice haul for Johnson after his miserable 2013 campaign. A bounceback year, which seems inevitable given Petco Park's pitcher-friendly reputation, could earn Johnson an even bigger payday when he hits the market again next winter.
Description: David Murphy is headed to Cleveland. The former Texas outfielder has agreed to a two-year deal worth $10 million. SOURCE: Dallas Morning News
Insight: It's not an ideal landing spot as Murphy seems destined for a platoon with the equally inconsistent Drew Stubbs in right field. Murphy batted just .220 across 142 games last season, his lowest average in eight seasons in MLB.
Description: Free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran has had serious discussions with the Boston Red Sox. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? After losing to the Red Sox in the World Series, Beltran is now strongly considering playing for them in 2014. With Jacoby Ellsbury likely to leave in free agency, the Red Sox should have an opening in the outfield next season. If Beltran signs with Boston, Shane Victorino would move to center field.
Description: According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Travis Sawchik, the Pirates are one of the team's righthander Josh Johnson is considering.
Insight: He'd be a nice replacement for A.J. Burnett, assuming Pittsburgh can get him for relatively cheap. 2013 was arguably the worst season of Johnson's career (2-8, 6.20 ERA) but injuries certainly played a role in his struggles. Pitching coach Ray Searage is no stranger to reclamation projects. Last season, Twins castoff Francisco Liriano became a Cy Young candidate under Searage's tutelage.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey will not become a full-time first baseman, according to Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Insight: Posey's fantasy value as a first baseman wouldn't be anywhere near what it is as a catcher. He batted .294 with 15 HR and 72 RBI last season which is very good for a guy behind the plate, but a dime-a-dozen option at first base.
Description: Fox's Ken Rosenthal reports the Phillies have signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a new contract worth $26 million over three seasons.
Insight: Ruiz will be 37 by the end of his contract. The 2012 All-Star is excellent at handling a pitching staff and has become an above average hitter. He should see over 400 at bats next season as long as he can stay healthy.
Description: Don't be surprised if the Mets trade Daniel Murphy this offseason.
Insight: Though no deal is imminent, Newsday's Andy Martino says the Mets are open to dealing the 28-year-old second baseman. After hitting .286 with 78 RBI and 23 SB in 2013, Murphy's trade value has never been higher.