LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy collapsed after midnight at the hotel where baseball’s winter meetings were being held and was hospitalized for further tests.
A cause for Tracy’s condition had yet to be determined. He never lost consciousness and was resting comfortably in an Orlando-area hospital, the team said.
Tracy, who turns 55 on Dec. 31, collapsed around 1 a.m. as he was about to get onto an elevator. Colorado coaches Carney Lansford and Tom Runnells were with him at the time.
It shaped up as another busy day for deals at the meetings as free agent infielder Ty Wigginton joined the Rockies and free agent reliever J.J. Putz went to Arizona.
The Rockies and Wigginton reached agreement on a two-year contract worth $8 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.
The 33-year-old Wigginton became a first-time All-Star last season while playing first base, second base and third base for Baltimore. His deal came a day after Melvin Mora, who filled mostly the same role with Colorado last season, signed with Arizona.
The Diamondbacks and Putz agreed on a two-year contract worth $10 million, a person with knowledge of that deal told the AP, also speaking on condition of anonymity because that pact had not been formally announced.
The 33-year-old Putz went 7-5 with three saves and a 2.83 ERA in 60 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. The former All-Star closer with Seattle made the move a day after the Diamondbacks, who came to the meetings looking for bullpen help, got right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio from Baltimore for third baseman Mark Reynolds.
On Monday, Adrian Gonzalez got right into the swing of baseball’s most heated rivalry.
“I’m very excited to be in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks,” the newest Red Sox star said at Fenway Park.
While New York kept courting free agent Cliff Lee, other teams in the AL East began making trades.
The Red Sox completed their swap for Gonzalez, getting the slugging All-Star first baseman from San Diego for minor league pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named.
Baltimore added a big bat — and a bunch of strikeouts — by acquiring Reynolds from Arizona for a pair of relievers.
The Toronto Blue Jays got the prospect they coveted, obtaining 20-year-old Canadian infielder Brett Lawrie from Milwaukee for pitcher Shaun Marcum.
“Now that everybody is here in the same facility, the atmosphere is ripe to push through some things,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Who knows — maybe former AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke could switch sides before the session ends Thursday.
Not every team was so successful on the first full day of the meetings.
The Oakland Athletics failed to reach a contract agreement with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma during the allotted 30-day negotiating period, and he went back to his Japanese club.
Oakland’s bid was accepted under the bidding treaty between Major League Baseball and the Japanese commissioner’s office. But the star pitcher wanted much more than the A’s were willing to offer.
“We would like to express our appreciation to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for the opportunity to negotiate with Mr. Iwakuma and we regret that an agreement could not be reached by today’s deadline,” A’s general manager Billy Beane said in a statement. “In this instance, the player was in a unique situation, being only one year away from free agency, and we fully respect and understand his position.”
Often, it takes a few days at this annual gathering for any real action. This time, it was brisk from the get-go.
“A lot of agents are claiming that their players are going to sign this week. Some will and some won’t,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. “There could be a run on starting pitching this week.”
Whether Lee is among the pitchers who make that decision remains uncertain. Agent Darek Braunecker met with Cashman — the Yankees hope to lure the ace lefty, while Texas is trying to re-sign him. Other teams are interested, but their pursuits aren’t nearly so public.
“There’s always clubs that kind of lay in the weeds,” Braunecker said. “To me, you’re talking about the best player on the market. There’s still, certainly, a need for starting pitching that stems beyond the clubs that have been mentioned so far.”
At an interview session, Texas manager Ron Washington was asked to name his five starters for 2011. “Cliff Lee,” he said, laughing.
Other names in circulation: San Francisco might become interested in Tampa Bay shortstop Jason Bartlett, the Chicago Cubs hired Mark Riggins as their pitching coach and the Mets interviewed Andy Van Slyke as a possible hitting coach.
To Pat Gillick, this was truly the biggest deal of the day, and of his career: The 73-year-old executive whose moves helped build three World Series champions was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
“I never felt I had a job. I love going to work every day,” he said.
Former players’ union head Marvin Miller fell one vote short. George Steinbrenner finished far behind — “some people thought it’s too early,” Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, a member of the committee, said of the late Yankees owner.