Due to a misunderstanding of Walter Briggs, the Tigers' owner, who believed Hank Greenberg had posed in a Yankee jersey, the 1946 American League home run leader (44) is sold to the Pirates, after ensuring that the other AL teams wouldn't put in a waiver claim, for $35,000. The disgruntled Hammerin' Hank is dissuaded by Pittsburgh not to retire, and he will join and mentor the National League's young home run leader, Ralph Kiner (23) in the Steel City.
Former Giant first baseman Orlando Cepeda comes to terms with the Red Sox, making him the first player to be specifically signed by a team to be its designated hitter. 'Cha-Cha' will miss an opportunity to make history on Opening Day at Fenway Park when the top first inning features three hits and three walks, giving the Yankees' Ron Blomberg, who is batting sixth in the lineup, the distinction of being the first DH to bat in a major league game.
The Yankees sign Rays' free-agent Rafael Soriano to a $35 million, three-year deal. The All-Star right-handed reliever, who led the AL in saves last year with 45, will be used by New York as a set-up man to the team's iconic closer, 41 year-old Mariano Rivera.