.

Hot Stove: 1/5

The Blue Jays and Rays bolstered their bullpens with notable additions while a flurry of minor league deals took place.

 Record of the Day

Most home runs in a season by a Phillie: Ryan Howard, 58 (2006).

When Ryan Howard broke out with 58 home runs in 2006, he smashed Mike Schmidt's 26 year old single season Phillies record by ten and launch him into the Phillies lore as one of their top players. Five years later, Howard's 286 home runs already place second in Phillies history, 37 ahead of Del Ennis's 259.  Howard has a long way to go, however, as Schmidt's total sits at 548, 262 ahead of the big first baseman from St. Louis. 

Free Agent Signings

Rays signed Fernando Rodney (3-5, 4.50 ERA, .224 BAA, 3 saves, 2012 age: 35) to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.

Marlins agreed to terms to bring back Gregg Dobbs (8 HR, 49 RBI, .275 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 33-34) on a two-year, $3 million deal ($1.5 million per season).

Pirates signed Jo-Jo Reyes (7-11, 5.57 ERA, .303 BAA, 2012 age: 27) to a minor league deal.  

Cubs resigned Reed Johnson (5 HR, 28 RBI, .309 AVG, 2 SB, 2011 age: 35) to a one-year, $1.15 million deal.

Red Sox signed Pedro Ciriaco (0 HR, 6 RBI, .303 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 26) to a minor league deal.

Indians signed Robinson Tejeda (0-1, 6.14 ERA, .387 BAA, 2012 age: 30) to a minor league deal.

Fernando Rodney is an interesting pitcher. He possesses closer stuff, but has not performed in the role. Upon joining the Rays, he is expected to battle with incumbent closer Kyle Farnsworth and if he loses out, will act as set-up man. Rodney is no stranger to the late innings; he possesses 87 career save and 72 career holds for the Tigers and Angels. He first caught the eye of the baseball world while posting a 2.86 ERA with nine saves in 39 games in 2005, aged 28 and in just his third season. He posted a 3.52 ERA in his first full season in 2006 in 63 games, his outstanding stat being his .196 BAA. His inconsistency began in 2007, where he posted a 4.26 ERA in 48 games. As part-time closer for Detroit in 2008, he saved 13 games but posted a 4.91 ERA in just 38 games. Healthy in 2009, he assumed the full time closer's role and saved 37 games in 38 tries while posting a 4.40 ERA and .249 BAA in 73 games. The Angels signed him on in 2010 to be their closer, but Rodney could not hold down the job, saving just 14 games in 21 tries and being dropped from the role, finishing with a 4.24 ERA in 72 games. Injury plagued again in 2011, Rodney finished with a 4.50 ERA in 39 games. Over his nine-year career, he is 22-38 with a 4.29 ERA, .243 BAA, and 87 saves in 419 games

Trades

White Sox traded Jason Frasor (3-3, 3.60 ERA, .257 BAA,  2012 age: 34) to the Blue Jays for minor leaguers Myles Jaye (3-3, 3.00 ERA, .239 BAA, 1 save at Rookie level Bluefield, 2012 age: 20) and Daniel Webb (4-5, 5.48 ERA, .304 BAA, 2 saves at GCL and Class A Lansing, 2012 age: 22).

A's traded Jai Miller (1 HR, 2 RBI, .250 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 27) to the Orioles for cash considerations.

The Blue Jays continued their bullpen makeover with the acquisition of Frasor, who was traded for after the Jays had signed Darren Oliver and Aaron Laffey and traded for Sergio Santos. Frasor is no stranger to the Blue Jays, however. The 5'9" righty pitched for Toronto for seven and a half years before a trade to the White Sox in midseason 2011. Back in 2004, Frasor was traded from the Dodgers for none other than Jayson Werth and actually saved 17 games for the Jays in his first season in 2004 as a 26 year old, posting a 4.08 ERA in 63 games. After spending the next four years (2005-2008) as a set-up man to the likes of Miguel Batista (2005), B.J. Ryan (2006, 2008), and Jeremy Accardo (2007) and pitching to a 4.01 ERA, Frasor again rose to dominate the league again in 2009, sharing closing duties with Scott Downs and posting a 2.50 ERA, .209 BAA, and 11 saves in 61 games. Serving as set-up man to Kevin Gregg in 2010, Frasor posted a 3.68 ERA in 69 games. He was cruising along in 2011, carrying a 2.98 ERA over 44 games, until he was traded to the White Sox in the big three team deal that sent different players flying all over the place between Chicago, Toronto and St. Louis. A Chicago native, Frasor ran into trouble for the Southsiders, posting a 5.09 ERA in 20 appearances. He finished the year with a 3.60 ERA in 64 games. Over his eight-year career, he was 25-30 with a 3.74 ERA, .237 BAA, and 36 saves over 475 appearances, 455 of which were with the Blue Jays. He returns to Toronto already as their all time games pitched leader, three ahead of Duane Ward (1986-1995) at 452. 

In return, the White Sox acquired a couple of very young minor league pitchers in Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb, both drafted in 2010. Jaye was the Blue Jays' 17th round pick in 2010 and pitched his first professional season in 2011, finishing 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) for the Rookie level Bluefield Blue Jays.  He just turned 20 on December 28th. Webb was taken as the Jays' 18th round pick in 2010, but signed early and was able to make 13 starts that year for Class A Short-Season Auburn, going 0-6 with a 5.24 ERA. A promotion to Class A Lansing actually helped him, and though he made only two starts, he was 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA. This caused him to finish the year 1-7 with a 4.74 ERA. He missed much of June and August and all of July to injury in 2011, but aside from a rehab appearance for the GCL, he was able to pitch all of his games for Class A Lansing, posting a 5.59 ERA in 18 games (12 starts) for the Lugnuts. The Kentucky native turned 22 in August.

Other News

The Nationals have joined the race for free agent Prince Fielder, meeting with his infamous agent, Scott Boras, in Washington.

-- 
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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