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.
Soon after the Hall of Fame welcomed three new members from long ago, teams got busy. 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 RBIs for the Rangers last season.
I saw Josh on the flight here Sunday by accident. Coincidence, I guess, is a better word than accident, Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. Chatted with him a little bit in the airport. I know he's here probably to meet with some other teams.
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.
Awesome addition to our team! Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.
The Red Sox are aiming at another prize, too, exploring trade possibilities to pry Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets. Boston GM Ben Cherington didn't mention the knuckleballer by name, simply saying the price for pitching was definitely pretty steep for the better guys.
Mets manager Terry Collins, meanwhile, left the trade talk to others.
When we go to spring training, I'm going to look at the names on those lockers, and I'm going to figure out what we've got to do to be successful with the names on the lockers, depending on who they are, he said.
The Yankees know Rodriguez won't be in the lineup on opening day. The 37-year-old third baseman, looking nothing like the slugger who ranks fifth on the career list with 647 homers, will have surgery on his left hip and could be out until the All-Star break.
It's a significant blow, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. But we've dealt with significant blows and, hopefully, we'll be able to deal with this one, as well.
Loney found a new home in Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old first baseman hit a combined .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston.
Soria was close to a deal with Texas after missing the entire season because of his second Tommy John surgery. Commissioner Bud Selig has said he wants to add video reviews for trapped balls and fair-or-foul calls next season. MLB executive Joe Torre said we're looking at it but offered no guarantee.