Before I get to trade and a pair of Japanese player signings I want to thank ESPN's Keith Law publicly for alerting of me of another site stealing my postings from this very space and using them on another site without giving credit or any acknowledgment to me whatsoever. I'm sure the person who's doing it is reading, so I ask you to please cease this exercise.
Let's begin with Fukudome - I took a look at him here- the deal is 4/48, he fills a need for the Cubs, two actually - left handed batting right fielder - but hadn't the impression been that Fukudome only wanted a three year deal? I guess the extra two million in annual salary raise convinced him that four years would be fine.
Next up Tadahito Iguchi signed with the Padres, which effectively ends the chance of Rule 5 pick Callix Crabbe landing the starting job, it also pushes back Matt Antonelli another year. Iguchi only got a one year, four million dollar deal - yes, only - which is considerably lower than I would've expected him to get coming off of a small, but good stint in Philadelphia. The second base / shortstop market is empty now with the only notable name sitting out there being David Eckstein.
Oh and in case you hadn't heard the Orioles and Astros made a trade; Miguel Tejada to Houston for Luke Scott and a ton of minor league arms.
For Houston this deal really doesn't make sense, Tejada is apparently going to play shortstop, which bumps defensive wonder Adam Everett either to the bench or to the scrapyard, and leaves the left side of their infield with Ty Wigginton - trust me he's not known for his defensive skill - and an aged Tejada. With the bat Miggy's OPS+ has dropped four straight years, although I suppose heading to the Juice Box - where his pull tendencies should result in more extra base hits thanks to the wall - and the pitching depleted National League Central should help.
Baltimore gets a Jay Payton platoon mate in Scott - who's price was apparently too high for the Padres and Rays - and a few minor league arms - most notably Troy Patton and Matt Albers who might start the year in Baltimore's injury plagued bullpen. The other two young arms are Dennis Sarfate and Mike Costanzo, more so depth than anything.
The Astros' farm system just keeps getting weaker while the Orioles could really load up if they decide to move Erik Bedard to Cincinnati and Brian Roberts to the Cubs.