LEADING OFF: What to watch at the baseball winter meetings
A look at what’s happening today at the baseball winter meetings in Oxon Hill, Maryland:
A BUDDING QUESTION
Former Commissioner Bud Selig will be on site in suburban Washington, a day after he was voted into the Hall of Fame. His election has already raised a question with fans: If the person who oversaw the game during the Steroids Era is going to Cooperstown, should the players who took performance-enhancing drugs also be welcome?
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and others with lofty stats have been shut out so far, their numbers obscured by the PED cloud. Mark McGwire, an admitted user, and his 583 home runs got nowhere close on the same ballot where Selig was an overwhelming choice.
Selig drew a distinction, saying it was his job to clear up the drug problem.
“Certainly, it was different ... the people who took it from the people who were trying to solve it,” Selig said Sunday. “The writers are going to have to decide about the players.”
Good chance the issue will be raised again, and soon.
DEAL ’EM UP
Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen are among the top targets for teams looking to make a splashy swap, and there’s talk the hometown Washington Nationals might make a pitch for both of them.
Of course, trade speculation is often what fuels these meetings.
Closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon head the free-agent market. The list of available hitters isn’t great, at least not matched up to past crops.
Slugger Edwin Encarnacion, meanwhile, has one less landing spot as a DH after the Yankees reached a one-year deal with Matt Holliday for $13 million.
BLACK ISN’T BLUE
Bud Black is the first former pitcher to manage the Rockies after taking over from Walt Weiss. He might detail his philosophy for mound success at Coors Field during his media session in the morning.
Most every manager in the majors gets a half-hour to field questions over the next three days, with Black and Kansas City’s Ned Yost up first. No surprise, Joe Maddon could need a few extra minutes come Tuesday.