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Hot Stove: Minors deals, spring invites dot landscape

Indians, Nationals, Dodgers address depth on day before first team reports to camp

It's almost here.

Wednesday, the day before the D-backs are the first team to have pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, was relatively quiet.

A few Minor League deals were made, as the Indians signed former All-Star first baseman Bryan LaHair with an invitation to Spring Training. The Nationals inked veteran catcher Koyie Hill to the same, as did the Dodgers with infielder Justin Turner.

The Braves and first baseman Freddie Freeman addressed their eight-year, $135 million deal.

"For them to believe in me with this kind of contract, it's truly an honor and humbling," Freeman said. "But having it this young, I never thought it would be possible or could imagine that."

Freeman's deal was celebrated on the 80th birthday of Braves Hall of Famer and icon Hank Aaron.

But there also was some somber news Wednesday, with former Major League ace Curt Schilling announcing his cancer diagnosis.

Other news and notes from Wednesday:

AL East
• Former pitcher and current YES Network analyst David Cone thinks highly of new Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

• Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi offers his take on stepping up for the injured Jeremy Hellickson.

• Orioles reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers questions in her Inbox.

• Blue Jays reporter Gregor Chisholm does the same here.

• Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra, along with radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione, will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

AL Central
• The Twins' Trevor Plouffe is focused on the now while also taking top prospect and fellow third baseman Miguel Sano under his wing.

• Cleveland outfield prospects Clint Frazier and Tyler Naquin hope to live up to the hype.

• Former Tigers player Lance Parrish will manage in Detroit's system at Double-A Erie.

AL West
• A's reporter Jane Lee answers questions in this Inbox.

• The Rangers sold their ballpark naming rights. They now play in Globe Life Park in Arlington.

NL East
• Mets outfielder Chris Young has used the phone to get to know his new teammates.

• Marlins reporter Joe Frisaro fields questions in this Inbox.

• Former Phillies players Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs are among those who Comcast SportsNet could add to to the booth.

• The Braves unveiled military appreciation jerseys.

NL Central
• Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen is entering his 10th season of pro ball.

• Clint Hurdle isn't satisfied despite helping the Pirates break their postseason drought.

• Rinku Singh, the left-hander who won the "Million Dollar Arm" contest in 2008, is ready to showcase his stuff at Pirates' Spring Training.

• A number of former Cubs shared their memories of Wrigley Field, which turns 100 this year.

NL West
• Padres right-hander Tyson Ross is ready to be a full-time starter.

• The Giants are hoping Michael Morse is a steady contributor in left field.

• The Dodgers are hoping small tweaks to last year's team will lead to the next step.

• The D-backs are ready for Spring Training.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
Read More: Koyie Hill, Bryan LaHair, Justin Turner