NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Boston Red Sox began to play catch-up by getting All-Star catcher Mike Napoli, Tampa Bay took a chance on James Loney and the New York Yankees prepared for more time minus Alex Rodriguez during a brisk Monday at baseball’s winter meetings.
The World Series champion San Francisco Giants kept center fielder Angel Pagan while the Texas Rangers brought back catcher Geovany Soto and neared a deal with injured closer Joakim Soria.
Top free agent Josh Hamilton remained in play after hitting 43 home runs with 128 RBI for the Rangers last season.
Coming off a last-place finish, Boston tried to resolve its catching situation. Napoli got a $39 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The Yankees know Rodriguez won’t be in the lineup on opening day. The 37-year-old third baseman will have surgery on his left hip and could be out until the All-Star break.
Loney found a new home in Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old first baseman hit a combined .249 with six homers and 41 RBI for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston.
Soria was close to a deal with Texas after missing the season because of his second Tommy John surgery. Kansas City declined its option on the two-time All-Star for next year.
The first announcement at the meetings podium came from the Hall of Fame, which said its pre-integration panel had elected former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White. They were honored for their achievements before the first half of the 20th century.
Ruppert brought Babe Ruth to New York and transformed the pinstripers into baseball’s dominant power.