IN THE NEWS: The Cardinals complete a long-rumored swap, acquiring Dennis Eckersley, 42, from the A's in exchange for minor leaguer Steve Montgomery. Eck replaces Tom Henke, who announced last month he was retiring.
The Cards announce that they are laying nearly three acres of natural grass over the field at Busch Stadium, replacing the artificial turf that has been used for 26 years. The turf will be ready for the April eight opener against Montreal.
IN THE NEWS: Despite the Baltimore Orioles winning in arbitration over P Arthur Rhodes, the players have their first winning year since 1990, going 14–10 in arbitration against the owners. Rhodes, 2–5, gets a team offer raise to $300,000: the pitcher had asked for $675,000. Arbitration-eligible players increased their salaries by 64%, the lowest since 1998.
IN THE NEWS: The Rules Committee announces that the strike zone will be larger, dropping it from the top of the knees to the hollow below the knees. The change comes out of a series of recommendations to help speed up play.