Teams across major league baseball are crossing off their shopping lists as the holidays approach, signing up a pitcher here, trading for a few prospects there. The Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers have been exceptionally busy since the start of free agency. In the past week, there have been multiple signings and trade acquisitions as teams build towards pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in late February. Let’s take a look at some of the major moves made over the past couple of days:
Yankees Bring Headley Back on 4-Year Deal
After briefly exploring the waters of free agency, Chase Headley agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Yankees, which will bring him back to New York next season.
The deal, worth a reported $52 million, sees Headley receive an increase from the $10.525 million he made in 2014 on a one-year deal.
The 30 year-old Headley joined the Yankees in mid-July last season, when he was traded by the San Diego Padres in exchange for infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor-leaguer Rafael De Paula.
With the Yankees, Headley hit .262 with six homers and 17 RBI in 58 games. He finished 2014 with an overall batting average of .243 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI, appearing in 135 games.
For the Yankees, he manned third base in 51 of his 58 games, committing 2 errors. Headley won a Gold Glove award in 2012 for his defensive play at third base.
In signing the new deal, the Yankees are likely hopeful that Headley can return to his 2012 form, a season in which he hit a career-high 31 home runs and knocked in 115 RBI. He finished fifth in voting for the National League MVP award.
Shortstop Lowrie, Astros Agree to 3-Year Deal
Jed Lowrie was a member of the Houston Astros organization in 2012, and after signing a three-year, $23 million deal Monday, will be returning to Houston to begin 2015.
Lowrie, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Oakland A’s, hitting a career-high .290 with a career-high 75 RBI in 2013. Last season, he hit .249 with six homers and 50 RBI.
In his previous stint with the Astros, Lowrie hit .244 with a career-high 16 home runs and 42 RBIs in 97 games.
It is expected that Lowrie will begin 2015 as the starting shortstop for the Astros, but does have experience playing second base and third base as well over his seven-year career.
Angels Acquire Outfielder Matt Joyce from Rays
The Los Angeles Angels took a step in improving their offense Tuesday, trading relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for outfielder Matt Joyce.
The 30 year-old Joyce spent the last six seasons with the Rays after beginning his career with the Detroit Tigers. In 2014, Joyce hit .254 with nine homers and 52 RBI.
His best season with the Rays came in 2011, during which he was selected to the All-Star Game, when he hit .277 with 19 home runs and 75 RBI, all career highs.
Though Joyce played the majority of his time with the Rays in the outfield, he is expected to take over in Los Angeles at designated hitter, but can provide outfield help as needed. The Angels current outfield setup consists of Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, and Kole Calhoun.
In Jepsen, the Rays acquire a solid reliever who made a career high 74 appearances out of the bullpen in 2014. Jepsen has spent all seven of his major-league seasons with the Angels after being a second round draft pick of the organization in 2002.
Jepsen was 0-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 2014, and has a career record of 13-18 with a 3.94 ERA in 315 appearances.
Gavin Floyd Signs 1-year Deal with Indians
The past two seasons have been tough on Gavin Floyd, but he will be getting a chance to right the ship in 2015, agreeing to a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Cleveland Indians.
After making five starts in 2013, Floyd was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his elbow. After making just nine starts in 2014 following his return from the surgery, Floyd broke a bone in his elbow forcing him to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Floyd, 31, was 2-2 in his 9 starts with the Atlanta Braves in 2014, before the injury, with a 2.65 ERA and 45 strikeouts.
He has pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, and the Braves in his 11-year career, spending seven of those seasons with Chicago.
Floyd has a career record of 72-72 with a 4.40 ERA and 948 strikeouts.