The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released Wednesday and it included a plethora of talent and three players whose careers are linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
Among the eligible candidates for the first time are career home-run leader Barry Bonds, power hitter Sammy Sosa and pitcher Roger Clemens. All three players were tied to steroid use at some point during their playing days.
Also appearing on the 37-player ballot this year are Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling and Mike Piazza.
Voting is conducted through December by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Results will be announced in January. Players need 75 percent of the vote to be inducted.
The Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for July 28 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
---Free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton has agreed to a five-year, $75.25 million deal with the Atlanta Braves, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
The deal is dependent on Upton passing a physical.
Upton, 28, has played all eight of his major-league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, and he hit .246 with 28 home runs, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases last season.
---The Cincinnati Reds agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with right-handed closer Jonathan Broxton.
When finalized, the move clears Broxton to replace flame-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman as the closer in Cincinnati. That would free up Chapman to step into a starting role.
Broxton, 28, began last season as the Kansas City Royals' closer, then was traded to Cincinnati on July 31 for two minor-leaguers. With the Reds, he mostly served as a setup man.
---The Boston Red Sox hired former major-league player Greg Colbrunn as their hitting coach.
Colbrunn has selected over Red Sox minor-league hitting coordinator Victor Rodriguez, former Arizona Diamondbacks hitting coach Rich Schu and Atlanta Braves assistatn hitting coach Scott Fletcher, The Boston Globe reported. He spent the past three years in the New York Yankees' minor-league system.
Dave Magadan left the Red Sox after last season to become the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers.
---The Los Angeles Angels finalized the signing of right-hander Ryan Madson to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
Madson passed a physical, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday, and is projected to replace Ernesto Frieri as the Angels' closer next season if he's healthy.
The deal called for an additional $2.5 million in roster bonuses and $1 million based on games finished, meaning he could make up to $7 million next season.
Madson, 32, is recovering from Tommy John surgery in early April.
--Andy Pettitte has agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract with the New York Yankees.
Reports indicated Tuesday that the two sides were close to a deal, and Newsday confirmed the agreement Wednesday with the 40-year-old left-hander.
Pettitte, whose contract was $2.5 million in 2012, posted a 5-4 record with a 2.87 ERA despite missing nearly three months of the season with a broken left ankle. He also made two postseason starts.
---The Cleveland Indians designated reliever Rafael Perez for assignment on Wednesday.
Perez battled shoulder problems this season and had surgery in September. The left-hander pitched in just eight games for the Indians in 2012, none after April. He had pitched in 70 or more games in three of the previous four seasons.
--The Philadelphia Phillies have worked out a trade that will bring Houston reliever Wilton Lopez to the Phillies in exchange for minor-league players, according to several reports.
Lopez, 29, pitched 66 1/3 innings in relief and had 2.17 ERA for the Astros in 2012. He served as the team's closer after the Astros traded Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox.
The Phillies are expected to use Lopez in a setup role for closer Jonathan Papelbon.
--The Pittsburgh Pirates made several moves on Wednesday that included trades with the Royals and Red Sox.
The Pirates acquired first baseman Clint Robinson and right-hander Vin Mazzaro from Kansas City in exchange for pitching prospects Luis Rico and Luis Santos.
Pittsburgh also obtained right-hander Zach Stewart from Boston for a player to be named later.
The Pirates designated for assignment infielders Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro.