LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The winter meetings began with a look back Monday when retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox were unanimously elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee.
Torre and Cox retired as managers after the 2010 season and La Russa after leading St. Louis to the 2011 title. Torre won four World Series titles with the Yankees, La Russa three with Oakland and the Cardinals, and Cox one with Atlanta.
“They say when you’re voted to the Hall of Fame your life changes,” Cox said. “And it has. I’ve got goose bumps, and it’s the greatest honor that we could ever have.”
Among the nine managers with three or more World Series titles, Torre and La Russa were the only ones not in Cooperstown.
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“It’s a stunner,” said La Russa.
La Russa is third among managers with 2,728 victories; Cox had 2,504 and Torre 2,326.
The trio of retired managers was joined on the 12-man ballot by a pair of much-debated figures who died in recent years: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and pioneering players’ union head Marvin Miller.
Citing a desire to avoid surgery for an ailing back and wanting to spend more time with his family, two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay retired Monday after 16 seasons in the major leagues with the Blue Jays and Phillies.
Halladay signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Blue Jays, where he spent the first 12 years of his career. The 36-year-old right-hander choked up and held back tears while making the announcement at a news conference.
“As a baseball player, you realize that’s something you can’t do the rest of your life,” Halladay said. “I really don’t have any regrets. You realize there’s other things for you to accomplish in life.”
Halladay pitched a perfect game and also a postseason no-hitter. But never made it to the World Series and leaves without the ring he badly wanted.
• Curtis Granderson and the Mets have completed a $60 million, four-year contract. The deal with the three-time All-Star outfielder is the team’s most expensive since Sandy Alderson took over as general manager. Granderson, 32, hit .229 with seven homers and 15 RBI this year for the Yankees, when wrist and hand injuries limited him to 61 games.
• Garrett Jones agreed to terms with the Marlins on a $7.75 million, two-year contract. Jones, a six-year veteran first baseman, spent the past four seasons with the Pirates. He’s a career .254 hitter with 102 home runs and has played in at least 144 games each of the past four years.
• Former All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling is replacing Orel Hershiser on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast crew next season, giving him a wider audience for his opinions. Hershiser is expected to join the Dodgers’ new regional sports network.
• The White Sox and right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino have agreed to a one-year, $1.75-million contract that includes a club option for 2015. Paulino spent last season in the Royals’ organization, going 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA over seven injury rehabilitation starts in the minors.
• The Indians have signed free agent first baseman David Cooper. The 26-year-old finished last season with Cleveland’s AAA affiliate in Columbus. A former first-round choice of Toronto, Cooper batted .300 with four homers and 11 RBI in 45 games with the Blue Jays in 2012.
• Tim Hevly of the Mariners has won the Robert O. Fishel Award for public relations excellence, given annually by Major League Baseball.