Yankees/MLB Hot Stove: A.J. Deal Official, Retirements, and Smiley's Knee

UPDATED: The A.J. Burnett trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates is now official, per Jon Heyman. MLB has approved the deal and Burnettt passed his physical. Huzzah!

Veteran outfielder Mike Cameron announced his retirement from the game after a 17-year career with eight different teams. Cameron's probably most well-known for being the centerfielder on the 116-win 2001 Mariners, and for hitting four homers in a May, 2002 game. Cameron was praised for his defense, and he won three Gold Gloves.

This is probably not news to most people since it happened a few days ago, but Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield also called it quits after a 19-year career that was a bit of a struggle near the end as he chased his 200th win. He certainly has to go down as one of the best knuckleballers in major league history, behind Hoyt Wilhelm and Phil Niekro, but he also allowed this somewhat significant homer.

On the word of Marc Carig, DH/outfielder Andruw Jones is reporting to Spring Training early to get his rehabbed knee back into shape. He had minor surgery on it in the offseason, but he should be fine.

Bill Madden of The New York Daily News wrote about some storylines to follow over the course of the season if you're interested in keeping track of that kind of stuff. I'm personally just hoping all we hear about is number 28 at the end of the season.

Despite the losses of Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa, and Dave Duncan, the St. Louis Cardinals and their new skipper, Mike Matheny, say that they're ready for the challenge of defending their World Series championship. St. Louis has never successfully repeated as champions and the last time they returned to the Series was 1968, when they lost to Mickey Lolich and the Tigers, but considering they play in the mediocre NL Central, they certainly have as much of a chance as anyone if they can squeak into the playoffs again.

Former Yankees no-hit pitcher and motivational speaker Jim Abbott will be releasing a book with Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports on April 3rd entitled Imperfect.

Oh hey, it's Pedro Feliciano in camp! I know he probably means well, but I wonder what must be going through his mind as he finishes year two of an $8 million deal that he has done literally nothing to earn except rehab. I also wonder what he's reading in that picture. Any thoughts?

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