Anybody who loves the game hates the fact that steroids became so
pervasive in the sport, but for a 20-year period, I think most of the
elite players were using performance-enhancing drugs, and within the
context of that time — when baseball wasn’t doing anything to stop the
growth of drug use — this was what the sport was. And we don’t know
exactly who did what . . . I think in order to have a consistent standard when considering the
steroid-era players, you either have to vote for no one at all, or set
aside the steroid issue and just vote for the best players of the era.
— Buster Olney, explaining why he voted for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame and why he will vote for him and for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez when they come on the ballot.
Unless the writers who think differently either (a) explain their clairvoyance in knowing who did and who didn’t do steroids; or (b) admit that they are totally fine with voting for steroid users who managed not to get caught, I can’t see how they can approach the matter any other way.
Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.
Moustakas, 30, declined a $15 million mutual option with the Brewers at the end of the 2018 season, and like many others left on the market, has yet to find a landing spot in advance of spring training. While he’s several years removed from his last All-Star performance, he ran a decent campaign with the Royals and Brewers last year, slashing a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, a .774 OPS, and 2.4 fWAR across 635 plate appearances.
He certainly appears to be a fit in Anaheim, where he could supplant Zack Cozart at the hot corner and balance out the Angels’ right-heavy lineup alongside Kole Calhoun, Justin Bour, and Tommy La Stella. Even if the Angels have serious interest in the third baseman, however, they’re likely to wait and see what kind of contract Machado (and the as-yet unsigned Bryce Harper) fetches before extending any serious offers of their own. They’re far from the only club to use the four-time All-Star as a litmus test this offseason, which has only fueled a growing unrest among MLB players who believe that more serious action — such as a midseason walk-out or a league-wide strike — will need to be taken over the next few months.