Don't sleep on February moves

Breaking down important transactions from the past month

Updated: February 27, 2013, 1:48 PM ET
By Paul Swydan | FanGraphs
Jed LowrieTim Heitman-US PresswireThe Oakland Athletics traded key pieces this offseason to acquire infielder Jed Lowrie from Houston.

In recent years, teams have sped up their offseason calendars quite a bit, and as a result it seems like free-agent players have gone off the board faster than they used to. Part of that is thanks to the most recent collective bargaining agreement, which pushed up the dates for tendering contracts both to potential free agents as well as to arbitration-eligible players. But some of it is also likely due to front offices determining their strategy, and targets, far sooner than in the past. Still, every year there are important acquisitions made in February. This year has been no different.

If we take a step back to last year, we find free agents like Edwin Jackson, Ryan Ludwick and Justin Ruggiano inking deals in February, as well as the Jeremy Guthrie-Jason Hammel and A.J. Burnett trades. This year, we have already seen one big-name star like Michael Bourn wait until February before choosing his new team, and proverbial last-big-free-agent-standing Kyle Lohse may even push into March before selecting a suitor. Still, even aside from these two big-ticket players, this month has seen important moves.

Here are a few February transactions that could prove crucial in 2013.