Monday's winter meetings report: Maddon media session, Bell signing, Santo elected to Hall
UPDATE, 11:15: Former Cubs great Ron Santo was elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. Jim Kaat fell two votes short.
BREAKING: The meetings get underway in earnest today, but typically the action builds as the week goes on. Teams tend to meet internally Monday morning and then start talking with other teams and agents. The Rays have a streak on the line of making deals the last four years.
One of the more interesting features of the meetings are the media sessions that each manager holds. Rays manager Joe Maddon, who just won his second AL manager of the year award, is in the leadoff position and will speak at 2. Maddon won't have a lot of answers of course as the Rays have made only a few moves, but it's always interesting. Off-field, he is excited about his Hazelton Integration Project, which an already sold-out fundraising event that takes place later this month in his hometown (featuring Yogi Berra and Don Zimmer among others) and a January trip to Europe, with stops planned in Greece, Italy and Spain.
There is some chatter the Rays will hire Greg Riddoch for an off-field position.
The Marlins, fully immersed in a wild off-season spending spree, will hold a media session this afternoon to introduce closer Heath Bell, who they signed to a three-year, $27-million contract. Late Sunday night, they also agreed to terms with SS Jose Reyes on a six-year deal worth at least $106-million. They also put out word last night they are still interested in signing Albert Pujols.
Also today, the Hall of Fame veterans committee will announce its voting on the Golden Era ballot, with Ron Santo and Gil Hodges among the leading possibilities.