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Hot Stove: 1/31

A longtime slugger retired after twelve seasons in the majors, while the Orioles brought on a pitcher famed for one infamous game.

Record of the Day

Most career strikeouts: Nolan Ryan, 5,714. 

Ryan, who turns 65 today the 31st, has a nice padding of 839 K's ahead of second place Randy Johnson and an even nicer padding of 3,178 ahead of active leader Javier Vazquez. Ryan struck out more than 300 batters six times in his career, the first time being in 1972 at the age of 25 and the final in 1989 at the age of 42. The Ryan Express led his league 11 times, including a 232 strikeout 1990 at the age of 43 that led the American League. The high strikeout rate led him to a 9.55 K/9IP (strikeouts per nine innings pitched), which ranks him third all time to only Randy Johnson (10.61) and Pedro Martinez (10.04).  

Free Agent Signings

Reds agreed to terms with Jeff Francis (6-16, 4.82 ERA, .301 BAA, 2012 age: 31) on a minor league deal.  

Orioles signed Armando Galarraga (3-4, 5.91 ERA, .281 BAA, 2012 age: 30) to a minor league deal.

Brewers agreed to terms with Corey Patterson (6 HR, 36 RBI, .239 AVG, 13 SB, 2012 age: 32) on a minor league deal.

Orioles also signed Ronny Paulino (2 HR, 19 RBI, .268 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 31) to a minor league deal.

Marlins signed Austin Kearns (2 HR, 7 RBI, .200 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 32) to a minor league deal.

Rangers signed Kyle Hudson (0 HR, 2 RBI, .143 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 25) to a minor league deal.

Armando Galarraga will forever be known as the pitcher who missed a perfect game because of a blown call, but there is a long story behind the accomplishment. After signing with the Expos on Halloween 1998, Galarraga did not appear in the majors until 2007, and by then he was with the Rangers and no longer 16 but 25 years old. It was not until 2008, more than nine years after he was signed as an amateur free agent and on his third team, the Tigers, that he pitched a full season in the major leagues. It would also prove to be his best year, as the 26-year-old rookie was 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA and .226 BAA in 30 games (28 starts). The success was short-lived, as the Venezuela native was just 6-10 with a 5.64 ERA in 29 games (25 starts) in 2009, what was supposed to be a follow up to his Tigers Rookie of the Year award winning season. He improved in 2010, going 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 games (24 starts), but was still not where the Tigers wanted him to be. That year would also bring about his famous "Imperfect Game." With two outs in the ninth inning and one out away from a perfect game, Galarraga induced a ground ball from Indians shortstop Jason Donald which was fielded by first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who flipped the ball to Galarraga for the apparent third out. Celebration briefly commenced until first base umpire Jim Joyce threw up his arms in the "safe" motion, stunning the baseball world. Galarraga has not been able to pick up his career where he left off in 2008, as the Diamondbacks signed him in 2011 but saw him go just 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts. Over his five-year career, Armando is 26-30 with a 4.69 ERA and .256 BAA in 95 games (86 starts).  

Other News

Longtime Phillie Pat Burrell retired at the age of 35 after 12 years in the major leagues. 

Rangers extended the contract of Ron Washington for two more years.

The Indians, who agreed to terms with Julio Lugo about a week ago, saw the deal fall through.

Justin Ruggiano refused the Rays' demotion to AAA Durham and is now a free agent.

Pat Burrell was a stable of the Phillies offense for much of the century's first decade, leading them to a World Series title in his ninth and final season in Philadelphia in 2008 before taking the Giants to their World Series Championship two years later in 2010. Burrell was never a doubted prospect, as he was taken as the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, one that included such names as C.C. Sabathia (Indians–20th overall), Adam Dunn (Reds–50th overall), Aubrey Huff (Devil Rays–162nd overall), Matt Holliday (Rockies–210th overall) and Mark Buehrle (White Sox–1,139th overall). Ascending quickly through the minors, Burrell reached the majors in the Year of the Hitter in 2000 at 23 years old and hit 18 home runs while batting .260 in 111 games. He broke out in 2001 after breaking camp with Philadelphia for the first time, hitting 27 home runs, knocking in 89, and batting .258 in 155 games with the first two stolen bases of his career. 2002 would prove to be his best, as the 25-year-old slugger hit 37 home runs, knocked in 116, and batted .282 with a stolen base in 157 games. Despite the numbers he put up, he garnered no awards. 2003 would end up a disappointment, as he only hit 21 home runs and batted .209 in 146 games.  He was nagged by injuries in 2004, but despite them he upped his numbers with 24 home runs and a .257 average in 127 games. He had a huge bounce-back season in 2005, ending up with 32 home runs, 117 RBI, and a .281 average in 154 games. His average dropped again in 2006 as he turned back into a one-dimensional power hitter, as he hit 29 home runs, knocked in 95, and batted .258 in 144 games. He reached 30 home runs in 2007 for the third time, adding 97 RBI and .256 average. His 114 walks ended up finishing third in the major leagues behind only Barry Bonds (132) and Todd Helton (116). 2008 ended up being his ninth and final season for the Phillies, as he hit 33 home runs, knocked in 86, and batted .250 in 157 games in their title season. He left Philadelphia fourth in franchise history with 251 home runs, eighth with his 827 RBI, and fifth with his 785 walks. The Rays, the team that the Phillies had beaten in the World Series the previous year, picked up Pat the Bat prior to the 2009 season. The 32-year-old underperformed, hitting only 14 home runs and batting .221 in 122 games in his first season in the American League. He didn't fare much better in 24 games for Tampa Bay in 2010, hitting just two home runs and batting .202 before a release in May. The Giants picked up the washed up slugger, and Burrell responded by rebounding with 18 home runs and a .266 average in 96 games en route to his second World Series Championship. Overall, Burrell had hit 20 bombs and batted .252 in 120 games. He played his final season in 2011, finishing with seven home runs and batting just .230 in 92 games for the Giants. Over his 12-year career, he hit 292 home runs (139th all time), knocked in 976 (296th all time), and batted .253 in 1,640 games (506th all time). He was walked 932 times (153rd all time), 53 of which were intentional (338th all time). His 299 doubles place him 412th, and his 607 extra-base hits put him at #281 on the all time list. Burrell never made an All Star team.

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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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