While the baseball world was centered around the Red Sox three year, $39 million deal with catcher Mike Napoli, a few other deals trickled in to kick start this year’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.

The San Diego Padres re-signed right-hander Jason Marquis to a one year deal worth $3 million. The 34-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins in late-May, after signing a similar deal last off-season. Marquis impressed the Padres brass after being signed as a minor-league free agent on May 31st, recorded a 4.04 ERA and 4.28 FIP in 15 starts.

Known for giving up the long ball – a career 1.12 HR/9 – the Padres decision to move in the fences next season at Petco Park may not work in his favour of keeping the ball in the park in 2013.

The Blue Jays made some news regarding their catching depth as well today, claiming Eli Whiteside off waivers from the New York Yankees. Whiteside played in 12 games for the San Francisco Giants last season posting a .091/.214/.182 line. With the ongoing surplus of catchers in the Blue Jays system, the acquisition of Whiteside will no doubt lead to more speculation on what the Jays will do with J.P. Arencibia or John Buck. As Stoeten mentioned over at DJF, the Mets want a catcher, and they have a Cy Young Award winner in R.A. Dickey that they have reportedly been dangling in trade talk.

The Texas Rangers signed catcher Geovany Soto to a one year deal, guaranteeing the 29-year-old $3 million for next season. In 99 games last season for the Cubs and Rangers, Soto hit .198/.270/.343 with 11 home runs. He made $4.3 million last year and was just recently non-tendered by Texas on Friday.

With news that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will undergo surgery on his hip, forcing him out of action for four to six months, general manager Brian Cashman addressed the media today. He acknowledged that the first the Yankees knew of Rodriguez having problems was when manager Joe Girardi pinch hit Raul Ibanez for him in Game 3 of the ALDS. When asked why all this is just coming out now, Cashman replied:

“no one asked me a specific question about his hip.”

The Washington Nationals have signed pitcher Zach Duke to a major league deal, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  This past season, Duke posted a 3.51 ERA and 4.09 FIP in 26 starts for the Nationals Triple-A squad. He made eight appearances for the big club as a September call-up. The left-hander has never been the same pitcher as he was when he first appeared on the major league scene in 2005 with the Pirates. That year, he started 14 games, posting a 1.81 ERA, 3 .00 FIP and 3.61 xFIP.

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