The New York Yankees made the first impact on the free-agent market. They kept left-hander CC Sabathia from testing the waters, signing him to a one-year extension that adds $30 million to his deal, which now runs through 2015. Plenty of other players had to change addresses to get paid. Here’s a cheat sheet on the top 20 free agents: — Tracy Ringolsby
Grady Sizemore, OF, stays with Indians
On Nov. 23 the Indians re-signed Sizemore to an incentive-laden contract. Sizemore's base salary in 2012 will be $5 million, and he can make another $4 million based on plate appearances. The Indians once took umbrage with their own scouts when they didn’t have Sizemore listed among top five players in the game. His propensity for strikeouts and inability to stay healthy, however, finally forced the Indians to realistically evaluate him. As a result, Cleveland declined Sizemore’s initial $9 million option for 2012 but brought him back on a more reasonable deal. Destination: Cleveland Indians.
Getty ImagesG Newman Lowrance
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs to Brewers
On Dec. 12, Ramirez made a three-year, $36 million deal with the Brewers, which is expected to give the team options to replace Prince Fielder. Ramirez spent the last eight seasons with the Cubs. Once an elite run producer and quality defensive third baseman, Ramirez’s stock has fallen. He got caught up in losing mentality with the Chicago Cubs and was considered an irritant in the dugout. He’s very streaky with the bat and suddenly inconsistent in the field. Destination: Milwaukee Brewers.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
Clint Barmes, SS, Astros to Pirates
On Nov. 21, Clint Barmes signed a two-year, $10.5 million deal to play shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The deal reunites Barmes with former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. Barmes has power, but he is so streaky as a hitter that it kept him from being able to command top dollar. He is a well-above-average defensive player at second base and shortstop, solid at third base and capable in the outfield. Destination: Pittsburgh Pirates.
Getty ImagesBob Levey
Ryan Madson, RHP, Phillies to Reds
The Cincinnati Reds agreed to sign Madson to a deal, effectively replacing Francisco Cordero. Madson excelled filling the Phillies ninth-inning void when Brad Lidge battled injuries. Destination: Cincinnati Reds.
Rafael Furcal, SS, stays with Cardinals
Furcal agreed to a new contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team he was traded to in July 2011. The contract is in the range of $14 million over two years. The SS looked like he enjoyed the game again in his final two months with St. Louis. He provided the Cardinals a solid middle infielder, which was key to their late-season charge. He’s not the offensive force he once was, but he’s still a solid switch-hitter who can play defense. Destination: St. Louis Cardinals.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
Josh Willingham, OF, A's to Twins
Willingham signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Twins on Dec. 15. Buyer beware. He’s coming off a career year at the age of 32. Don’t expect another flirtation with 100 RBI or 30 home runs. His track record, however, is solid, and he can be an excellent complement to a left-handed-hitting outfielder. Destination: Minnesota Twins.
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
Michael Cuddyer, OF, Twins to Rockies
On Dec. 16, the Rockies secured Cuddyer with a three-year, $31.5 million contract. Cuddyer is a versatile, right-handed hitter who is best suited at first base or in right field, but has dabbled at other positions. Destination: Colorado Rockies.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
Jimmy Rollins, SS, stays with Phillies
Rollins signed to a three-year, $33 million contract on Dec. 17 with an easily vested option for a fourth season that guarantees him another $5 million. He is not the player who was the NL MVP in 2007, but he showed there’s still life in his body. Rollins waited out the market to see if he could score the five-year deal he desired, but possible suitors shied away from throwing him a no-brainer, big-bucks deal it would have taken to lure him away from Philly. Destination: Philadelphia Phillies.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
Carlos Beltran, OF, Giants to Cardinals
Beltran reached agreement on Dec. 23 with the Cardinals on a two-year, $26 million contract with a full no-trade clause, according to major-league sources. Beltran’s legs aren’t what they once were and turning 35 in April means his days on the field are numbered. He had an offensive revival with the Giants, where the power expectations limited the demand on his gimpy legs. He’s a switch-hitter with power who fits in the middle of the lineup and a stop-gap player who can make an impact. Destination: St. Louis Cardinals.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP, Dodgers to Yankees
On Jan. 13, the Yankees agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with veteran free agent Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda was solid for four years with the Dodgers, and his contract allowed him to become a free agent this offseason. He had the option of returning to his native Japan. Hiroshima tried to sign him last year, and Kuroda has indicated Hiroshima would be his first choice if he returned. Destination: New York Yankees.
Getty ImagesKevork Djansezian
Edwin Jackson, RHP, Cardinals to Nationals
On Feb. 2, Jackson signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals in the $10 million range. Jackson has a 60-60 career big-league record and 4.46 ERA. Just 28, he showed signs of being a more consistent pitcher last year, particularly down the stretch with St. Louis. The Nats will be his seventh team. Destination: Washington Nationals.
Roy Oswalt RHP
When he was still in Houston, the expectation was that Oswalt was ready to retire. But life in Philadelphia recharged him. He, however, did suffer from lower back spasms last year, landing him on the disabled list twice. Oswalt remained unsigned as spring training began. On Feb. 23 Oswalt's agent issued a statement saying his client was not prepared to walk away from the game and hoped to take the mound at some during the upcoming season.
Getty ImagesScott Cunningham
Heath Bell, RHP, Padres to Marlins
On Dec. 1, the Marlins signed Bell to a three-year, $27 million deal that includes a $9 million vesting option for a fourth season. The 34-year-old Bell’s build and age made some leery, but in his three years as a closer with the Padres he has averaged 44 saves and been among the most consistent late-inning relievers in the game. Destination: Miami Marlins.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, Red Sox to Phillies
On Nov. 11, the Philadelphia Phillies nabbed closer Jonathan Papelbon with a four-year, $50-million deal that includes with a vesting option for 2016. Papelbon is a power closer, who is best when limited to just one inning of work. He, however, has had 50-plus appearances the last five years, and went 31 for 34 in save situations for the Red Sox last year. It wasn’t his fault he only had four opportunities in the final six weeks of the 2011 season. Destination: Philadelphia Phillies
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Jose Reyes, SS, Mets to Marlins
The Miami Marlins signed free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal. Nagging injuries have limited him to 295 games the last three seasons. When healthy, he is a defensive highlight film and a lineup catalyst. He won’t turn 29 until June. Reyes had been with the Mets since debuting in 2003. Destination: Miami Marlins.
Getty ImagesPatrick McDermott
Mark Buehrle, LHP, White Sox to Marlins
The Miami Marlins signed Buehrle to a four-year, $58 million deal. The last three seasons, Buehrle had been adamant that retirement was a very real possibility after the 2011 season. The left-hander has put together 11 consecutive 200-inning seasons, keeping pitch counts low and winning games. He’s a ground-ball pitcher who could handle any park. Destination: Miami Marlins.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
Prince Fielder, 1B, Brewers to Tigers
Prince Fielder agreed to a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Detroit Tigers on Jan. 24. Fielder is a game-changing bat that fits comfortably in the middle of a lineup. His defense and ample girth may have limited the teams that met agent Scott Boras’ expectations, but Fielder is a definite commodity. Destination: Detroit Tigers.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
C.J. Wilson, LHP, Rangers to Angels
On Dec. 8, Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels, although he was overshadowed by new teammate Albert Pujols. The versatile Wilson logged back-to-back 200-plus innings as a starter after solid effort out of bullpen. With pitching a scarce commodity he found an inflated market. The Rangers weren’t going to be held up (see: Cliff Lee). Destination: Los Angeles Angels.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals to Angels
On Dec. 8, the Los Angeles Angels stunned the baseball world by giving free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols on a 10-year guaranteed, $240 million contract. There’s never been a bigger name on the free-agent market. The game’s premier hitter and quality first baseman turned down a nine-year deal in the $190 million to $200 million range to re-sign with the Cardinals last spring and now waves bye-bye to the only team he's ever played for. Destination: Los Angeles Angels.