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Melky Cabrera's name is likely to come up a few times when the GMs sit down to talk PEDs.
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 3:45 pm ET
There's going to be all sorts of trade and free-agency chatter at the GM meetings, but for the most part the league's GMs are going to be occupied with matters that concern the general landscape of Major League Baseball.
According to Jorge Arangure, Jr. of the New York Times, among the topics on tap for discussion at the GM meetings are whether or not instant replay needs to be expanded to include fair or foul calls and other tricky plays, and there will also be some talk about protective headgear for pitchers.
It's no real surprise that there's going to be a focus on instant replay. There were numerous occurrences throughout the postseason in which having more replay would have come in handy, and it's safe to say that the public pressure for MLB to take the next step is only getting more intense.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, one thing that could happen in the near future is that MLB could equip each ballpark with systems designed to track balls hit down the foul lines. They tested certain camera and radar systems at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field toward the end of the 2012 season, and these systems supposedly did a fine job of capturing accurate data.
Protective headgear for pitchers is another idea that MLB needs to start taking very seriously. A line drive to A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy's head in early September put him in a life-threatening situation. Later on in the World Series, a line drive off Doug Fister's head resulted in some uneasiness on the part of fans and many writers when he was allowed to stay in the game after a very brief series of tests out on the mound.
It's doubtful that MLB will move to make traditional hard helmets mandatory for pitchers, as the league did for base coaches a few years ago. But Passan says that the league is looking to test out Kevlar lining in pitchers' hats in the minor leagues this year. If things work out, pitchers at the major league level could soon have Kevlar lining in their hats as well.
Elsewhere, ESPN's Buster Olney says that PEDs are going to be a topic of discussion at the GM meetings. "Another perceived wave" of PEDs is a "growing concern" in baseball, and the league needs to figure out how to meet it head-on.
Presumably, the one drug that will be focused on more than the others is testosterone. Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera and A's veteran starter Bartolo Colon were both caught and suspended for testosterone in 2012, and before that MLB thought it had Ryan Braun caught for using testosterone in 2011.
In a strange twist of fate, it was announced on Wednesday that young Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal has also been caught for testosterone. He will serve a 50-game suspension to start the 2013 season.
It's obviously good news that cheaters are being caught, but the league could be worried that a lot of players are beating the testing somehow. A new or upgraded testing procedure could be in the cards.
None of this is as interesting as Team X possibly trading for Player Y and then making a player for Free Agent Z, but this stuff is definitely important, folks. The groundwork for some significant changes could be laid at the GM meetings.