The big story of the day was Prince Fielder's nine-year, $214 million blockbuster deal, but the Tigers weren't the only active team. The Red Sox' main three foes in the AL East made significant moves, likely in direct response to Ben Cherington signing 2012 AL MVP candidate Cody Ross. Let's take a look at each move:
The Blue Jays started the day by extending Brandon Morrow, one of their young, solid starters. It's $20 million over the next three years, with a $10 million option thereafter. The Jays have clearly followed Tampa's strategy of trying to build around young, affordable pitching, and it's one of the reasons we'll have to fear them this year.
Later in the afternoon, they locked down former closer Francisco Cordero for $4.5 million to set up for Sergio Santos. It seems like a pretty good deal considering some of the closer money going around, but you're not going to see me compliment Cordero.
Meanwhile, the Rays brought back old friend Carlos Pena to play 1B and strike out 250 times. Pena is an excellent fielder and can get on base and hit for power, and I'm sure he'll enjoy playing at the new Yankee Stadium 9 or 10 times. He'll make $7.25 million and Andrew Friedman noted that the team stretched the budget to bring him back due to the impact he can make on the field and in the clubhouse. Great.
It's lesser news, but the Yanks stayed active by agreeing to a deal with Russell Martin, avoiding arbitration. Jesus Montero may be gone, but they'll still get production behind the plate with Martin.
It's getting a little played out to doubt Boston going into this year, because they do still have a lot of talent and we tend to emphasize the holes rather than what's actually there. My concern isn't so much that we're not spending money, or that the clubhouse is poisonous, or even that half of our pitching staff is overweight or hurt. My concern is that the rest of the division looks pretty scary, and seems to either be standing pat (New York) or getting better (Toronto and Tampa).