DALLAS — Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Jose Reyes could find a landing spot for the future. Gil Hodges, Ron Santo and Minnie Minoso could lock up a legacy forever.
Baseball’s winter meetings open today, a four-day session that often turns into a fan’s delight. There’s always the promise of blockbuster trades and major free-agent signings – even if they don’t happen, the rumors and speculation keep things interesting.
Will the New York Yankees work out a swap for Cubs pitcher Matt Garza? Will some bullpen add A’s All-Star closer Andrew Bailey? Will C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle strike riches?
There was some early action in Dallas. Representatives from Major League Baseball and the umpires’ union met Sunday, and replay was a prominent subject. Baseball is still figuring out when and how to expand the system, with fair-or-foul calls and trapped balls likely to be reviewed next season. Also under discussion is how to pick umpires for extra wild-card playoff games that could occur as early as next year.
This morning, the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee will reveal whether it has elected any new members.
Hodges, Santo, Luis Tiant and Jim Kaat are on the 10-person Golden Era ballot covering 1947-72. The 16-member voting panel talked about the candidates Sunday and turned in the secret ballots. The announcement is set for 8 a.m. Pacific time.
Minoso, Ken Boyer, Tony Oliva, Ron Santo, Charlie Finley and Buzzie Bavasi also are under consideration. It takes 75 percent for election, and those picked will be inducted into Cooperstown next July.