The Red Sox trade outfielder Albie Pearson and first baseman Norm Zauchin to Senators for shortstop Pete Runnels. Boston's newest infielder, en route to capturing the American League's batting crown in 1960 and 1962, will compile a .320 BA during his five years with the team.
Four years removed from the playing field, Cardinal standout Stan Musial is named general manager of the team, replacing Bob Howsam, who resigned to take a similar post with Cincinnati. Although his tenure will last only ten months, 'The Man', who turned down the position shortly after he retired in 1963, will become the first GM to win a world championship in his first season on the job.
Outfielder Joe Medwick, who captured the NL triple crown in 1937, is selected by the BBWAA to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. 'Ducky', best known for years with the Cardinals as member of the Gashouse Gang, ended his 17-year career with a .324 batting average.
Nineteenth century players Mickey Welch and Mike Kelly are selected by the Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee for enshrinement in Cooperstown. The group names Billy Evans, an umpire, to be inducted as well.
By the slimmest of margins, Ralph Kiner is elected into the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. The former Pirates slugger, who played only ten years in the majors and led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive seasons, received 273 votes on the 362 ballots cast by the writers, just enough to reach the 75% needed to be selected.
Willie Mays is selected by the BBWAA as a member of the Hall of Fame. The 'Say-Hey Kid' receives 409 of the 432 votes cast with 23 writers inexplicably leaving one of the top ball players of all time off their ballots.
Due to a front office mistake, the Red Sox are forced to trade Fred Lynn to the Angels. Boston had failed to mail a new contract by the deadline, allowing the former Rookie of the Year to become a possible free agent.
The Rangers avoid salary arbitration with 29 year-old Jeff Zimmerman, who saved 28 games for the team last season after he replaced an injured Tim Crabtree, when their closer agrees to a $10 million, three-year contract. Unfortunately, the right-hander will never throw another pitch in a major league game, suffering an injury in spring training that leads to three major surgeries on his elbow, including a pair Tommy John surgeries.
Reds general manager Dan O'Brien is surprised when he fired with spring training schedule to begin in the next few weeks. Cincinnati's new owner Bob Castellini makes it clear performance is not the reason for the team's former GM's dismissal, but wanted to place his ‘own person’ in the position.
Avoiding salary arbitration, the Indians sign Rafael Betancourt (5-1, 1.47) to a $5.4 million, two-year deal. The 32 year-old right-handed reliever was used primarily last season as an eighth inning set-up man for Cleveland's closer, Joe Borowski.
Kevin Towers, the longest-tenured active major league general manager, gets a two-year contract extension from the Padres, which goes through the 2010 season. Although the club would not reveal financial details, it is believed the 46 year-old is one of the top five or six highest-paid GMs in the game.
Troy Tulowitzki (.291, 24, 99 ) and the Rockies agree on a $31 million, six-year deal which includes a club option for 2014. The second baseman of the National League champs was runner-up for Rookie of the Year.
In an effort to add experience for an unseasoned rotation, the Marlins sign 33 year-old southpaw Mark Hendrickson (4-8, 5.21) to a $1.5 million, one-year deal which includes an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses. The 6-foot-9 former NBA player has pitched for the Blue Jays, Devil Rays and, last season, the Dodgers.
Major League Baseball announces the Dodgers, who in 1993 became the first big league club to play in Taiwan, will return to the island in March to play a pair of exhibition games against a team from the Chinese Professional Baseball League. During their first trip, L.A. played a squad of Chinese All-Stars.
Arbitration-eligible Hunter Pence (.282, 25, 72) signs a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Astros. The 26 year-old All-Star outfielder with the rifle arm earned only $464,000 last year, his third season with Houston.