The sun didn’t set really that long ago on the 2016 baseball season. Nevertheless, right on its heels is frenzied activity this week as ball clubs jockey for 2017 positioning. The verdict is still out on who will sign Edwin Encarnacion, the Toronto Blue Jays (former?) slugger. In addition, the Red Sox acquired a top starter from the Chicago White Sox this week.

Money talks in Boston

The Boston Red Sox acquired left-handed starter Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 for a four-prospect package, including infielder Yoan Moncada. Chris Sale will earn $12 million next year.

Club options are in place for 2018, set at $12.5 million, as well as for 2019, set at $13.5 million.

It will be a nice holiday for Matt Holliday

Today, the New York Yankees formally announced the signing of former St. Louis Cardinal Matt Holliday. They signed the designated hitter and outfielder to a $13 million one-year contract. Matt Holliday batted .246 with a .322 on-base percentage and a .461 slugging percentage for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016.

North of the U.S. border

The Toronto Blue Jays opened their wallet signing versatile player Steve Pearce to a $12.5 million two-year contract on December 5, 2016. He can play first base, other infield positions, and left field. Pearce signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in January 2016, worth $4.75 million.

He was subsequently traded to the Baltimore Orioles for the last two months of the 2016 baseball season.

It's closing time in Chicago

Today, the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs closed on a closer. The club traded for Wade Davis, a right-handed final innings man who is coming over from the Kansas City Royals.

In return, the Royals are receiving Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who has hit .258 with 27 home runs and 98 RBIs (Runs Batted In) in three seasons. Soler has a $30 million contract over nine years. Next year will be the sixth year of that contract.

A Rocky Mountain high for Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond, an outfielder in 2016 with the Texas Rangers, has signed today with the Colorado Rockies of the National League’s West Division.

Based on numerous reports, he signed a 5-year $70 million deal with the Rockies. Desmond batted .285 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs for the Rangers last year. He was also named to the All-Star team of the American League.

A ray of light in Tampa

Multiple sources said that the Tampa Bay Rays closed on a contract with Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals. Before his ACL injury last year, Ramos batted .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs in 131 games for Washington. Reports indicate that, pending his physical, the Ramos contract is worth $12.5 million for two years. The contract includes playing time incentives to make up to $18.25 million over this contract span.

The takeaway

It seems baseball team owners have the cash to toss around.

Will their big-time expenditures pay off in 2017? That remains to be seen, but more deals will abound in the coming days and weeks.

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