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Hot Stove: 1/25

Don't miss this update. A huge signing took place along with a couple of other important deals. Two extensions were reached, and one player officially announced his retirement.

Record of the Day

First player inducted into the Hall of Fame: Ty Cobb, 1936.

While Ty wasn't the only player inducted in 1936, the concensus was made first and formally on the Georgia Peach. At the time, he was an arguable and well-supported case as a better player than even Babe Ruth. History calls Ruth the better player just as I agree, but there is no doubt Cobb was close. The inagural Hall of Famer batted .366 throughout his career and played with such a passion that could only have been derived upon news his father was accidentaly shot and killed by his mother. He claimed to have played so hard because his father never saw him play and he didn't want to let his old man down, noting the elder Cobb was always watching.
 
Free Agent Signings
 
Tigers reportedly agreed to terms with Prince Fielder (38 HR, 120 RBI, .299 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 28) on a nine-year, $214 million deal ($23.78 million per season). 
 
Blue Jays agreed to terms with Francisco Cordero (5-3, 2.45 ERA, .198 BAA, 37 saves, 2012 age: 37) on a one-year, $4.5 million deal. 
 
A's agreed to terms with Johnny Gomes (14 HR, 43 RBI, .209 AVG, 7 SB, 2012 age: 31) on a one-year, $1 million deal (plus up to $200,000 in incentives).

Blue Jays signed Omar Vizquel (0 HR, 8 RBI, .251 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 45) to a minor league deal.

The Princely signing was stemmed from the loss of Victor Martinez for the 2012 season, but the big first baseman will serve the Tigers for eight years beyond. I don't know what that means when Martinez rejoins Detroit in 2013, but I might assume that first baseman Miguel Cabrera would move to third, where he played for much of his career for the Marlins. Either way, Prince boosts Detroit's offense exponentially, re-adding protection to All Stars like Cabrera and Alex Avila after they lost it with the loss of Martinez. Many think of Fielder as just a power hitter, but his game encompasses much more. Aside from his 40+ home run bat, Fielder hits for a stellar average and is solid defensively. He had a solid rookie season, but Price grabbed all eyes with 50 home runs in just his second full season, aged 23 back in 2007. Prince knocked in 119 runs and batted .288 to secure numerous awards including the NL Hank Aaron award. His numbers dropped a bit in 2008, but he bounced back in a huge way with a season comparable to his 2007. In 2009, Fielder hit 46 home runs, knocked in 141, and batted .299 while playing in every game for the Crew. His numbers dropped sharply in 2010, as he hit "only" 32 home runs and batted just .261 while missing just one game. Again he rebounded in 2011, knocking his home run total back up to 38 and his average up to .299 in another full 162 games. Over his seven-year tenure as a Brewer, Prince hit 230 home runs, knocked in 656, and batted .282 in 998 games. Only 27, he leaves Milwaukee only 21 home runs behind Robin Yount's club record 251.

Francisco Cordero brings Toronto yet another reliever, as they have already added relievers Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver, Jason Frasor, Aaron Laffey and Jim Hoey since the end of the 2011 playoffs. Cordero will likely battle with the much younger Sergio Santos for the closer's role in 2011. The hefty righty has already notched eight straight seasons of at least 22 saves and was the best reliever left after Ryan Madson took up Cordero's old post in Cincinnati. He was one of the better closers in the game over the last decade despite pitching in hitters parks like Rangers Ballpark (2000-2006), Miller Park ('06-'07) and Great American Ballpark ('08-'11). His best year was his first as a full-time closer in 2004 while pitching for the Rangers, where he posted a 2.13 ERA and saved 49 games in 67 appearances. That set off a string of stellar seasons that garnered him three All Star appearances. 2009 was almost as dominant as 2004, when Cordero posted a 2.16 ERA and saved 39 games in 68 appearances for the Reds. After seeing his numbers dip a bit in 2010, Cordero posted another fine season last year. In 68 games, he posted a 2.45 ERA and saved 37 games while throwing up a .198 BAA. Over his 13-year career, Cordero was 44-45 with a 3.17 ERA and 327 saves in 753 games. His 327 saves place him 12th on the all-time list.  

Other News

Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement.

The Giants signed Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $40.5 million extension to avoid arbitration ($20.25 million per season).

The Blue Jays signed Brandon Morrow to a three-year, $20 million extension ($6.67 million per season). 

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