.

Hot Stove: 1/21

One major player was taken off the market, while another called it quits after fifteen years in the bigs.

Record of the Day

Highest career batting average by a Latino: Albert Pujols, .328.

Pujols, who owns more than just this one record, has held a .328 average over his 11 year career which is highest among Latino players and 24th all time, just a fraction of a point ahead of Wade Boggs. Not only has Pujols averaged .328, but he has hit at least .299 in each of his seasons and at least .357 twice. He topped out in 2003 by hitting .359 to lead the National League. Panama native Rod Carew is not too far behind Pujols' extended .3284 mark at .3277, so Prince Albert had better have a good season next year to keep from dipping below.

Free Agent Signings

Rays agreed to terms with Carlos Pena (28 HR, 80 RBI, .225 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 34) on a one-year, $7.25 million deal.

Rangers signed Brad Hawpe (4 HR, 19 RBI, .231 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 32-33) to a minor league deal.

Astros signed Chris Snyder (3 HR, 17 RBI, .271 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 31) to a one-year deal.

Rays also signed Will Rhymes (0 HR, 2 RBI, .235 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 29) to a minor league deal.

Indians signed Ryan Spilborghs (3 HR, 22 RBI, .210 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 32) to a minor league deal.

Indians also signed Fred Lewis (3 HR, 19 RBI, .230 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 31) to a minor league deal.

Giants signed Brian Burres (1-0, 3.86 ERA, .226 BAA, 2012 age: 31) to a minor league deal.

Pena is joining the Rays for a second tenure, having played from 2007-2010 in Tampa Bay and last year in Chicago. Pena is a power bat that does not get hits consistently, but makes up for it by drawing a boatload of walks, twice reaching the century mark. The Dominican native hit 75 home runs for the Tigers over his three -and-a-half year tenure for the Tigers from 2002-2005, but his greatest success came upon signing a minor league deal with the Devil Rays after missing all but 18 games for the Red Sox in 2006. When Pena cracked the opening day roster for Tampa Bay, he burst out and by year's end in 2007, he had hit 46 home runs, knocked in 121, and batted .282 in 148 games. The 46 home runs were a jump of 45 over his one home run the previous year and his 121 RBI proved to be 118 more than the three he had compiled in 2006. He couldn't repeat those numbers in 2008 after resigning, but still hit 31 home runs, knocked in 102, and batted .247 in 139 games. His power numbers jumped again in 2009, but his average continued to dip, as he hit 39 home runs and batted .227 in 135 games. 2010 would prove to be his worst year since joining the Rays as he hit just 28 home runs and batted only .196. He signed with the Cubs in 2011, again hitting 28 home runs while bumping his average back up to a still miserly .225. Over his 11-year career, Pena hit 258 home runs, knocked in 730, and batted .239 with 25 stolen bases in 1,226 games for the Rangers, A's, Tigers, Red Sox, Devil Rays/Rays and Cubs.

Trades

Rockies traded Kevin Slowey (0-8, 6.67 ERA, .321 BAA, 2012 age: 28) to the Indians for Zach Putnam (1-1, 6.14 ERA, .313 BAA, 2012 age: 24-25).

Other News
15-year veteran Orlando Cabrera retired at the age of 37.

Indians starter Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false name and age. His real name is reported to be Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he is suspected of being 31 years old, not 28. He was released from jail on bail.

Nationals signed Michael Morse to a two-year extension to avoid arbitration.

After 15 years in the major leagues, shortstop Orlando Cabrera has decided to call it quits. One of the few Colombians in the major leagues, the Cartagena native had his best years while playing for the Expos from 1997-2004. He played his first full season in 1998, hitting three home runs and batting .280 with six stolen bases in 79 games as a 23 year old. Earning more playing time in 1999, Cabrera hit eight home runs and batted .254 in 104.  He was one of the few players who did not break out offensively in the Year of the Hitter, though he did hit 13 home runs despite a .237 average. It was in 2001, at the age of 26, that the 5'10" shortstop broke out. Cabrera hit 14 home runs, knocked in 96, and batted .276 with 19 stolen bases while playing in all 162 games for Montreal. He also added a Gold Glove. Despite hitting only seven home runs with a .263 average in 2002, Cabrera continued to improve his stolen base totals, finishing with 25 in 153 games. His best season came in 2003, as the 28-year-old hit 17 home runs and batted .297 with 24 stolen bases and 95 runs scored while again playing in all 162 games. He was batting just .246 with four home runs over his first 103 games for the Expos in 2004 when they decided to trade him in a massive four player deal that included such names as Nomar Garciaparra, Doug Mientkiewicz, Alex Gonzalez and numerous other names to go along with Cabrera. Orlando ended up turning his season around by hitting six home runs and batting .294 in 58 games toward the Red Sox' title run. Cumulatively, he hit 10 home runs and batted .264 in 161 games. He signed with the Angels prior to 2005 and after struggling in his first season (eight home runs, .257 average), he turned it around by upping his average considerably. In 2006, he hit nine home runs and batted .282 with a career-high 27 stolen bases in 153 games. In 2007, he batted over .300 for the first and only time by swatting .301 with eight home runs and 20 stolen bases.  He also scored at least 100 runs for the first and only time by crossing the plate 101 times in 155 games. That year, he added his second and final Gold Glove award. Cabrera was then traded to the White Sox for Jon Garland and again hit eight home runs and batted .281 with 19 stolen bases, winning MLB.com's Defensive Player of the Year. After signing with the A's for 2009, he ended up splitting the year between Oakland and the Twins, finishing with nine home runs and batting .284. It was not known at the time, but Cabrera's numbers would drop off considerably the next year. The Reds signed him to a one-year deal but did not get what they were hoping for, as Cabrera hit just four home runs and batted .263 with 11 stolen bases in 123 games. He was signed by the Indians for 2011 and split the year between Cleveland and San Francisco, hitting five home runs and batting .238 in 130 games to complete his career. Over his 15 seasons, Cabrera hit 123 home runs (585th all time), knocked in 854 (394th all time), and batted .272 (875th all time) with 216 stolen bases (297th all time). Perhaps his best stat is his 459 career doubles, which places him 86th on the all time list. His 985 runs scored place him at 334th, and his 2,055 hits place him 238th. He has appeared in the 245th most games of all time a 1,985, and with 7,562 at bats, he places 187th. 

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Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves

If your team is not included, please leave a comment.

HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage

Zack Silverman

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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