When baseball officials last gathered in San Diego for the winter meetings, no free agents reached agreements and players claimed collusion, leading to the first of three grievances against owners and eventually a $280 million settlement.

The annual get-together is back starting Monday. This time, the average salary has soared from $372,000 to about $3.5 million. But one thing hasn't changed from 1985: the Kansas City Royals are defending AL champions.

Since then, offense has boomed with the Steroids Era and then gone bust in a new Age of the Pitcher. With offense at the premium, teams have pursued hitters with greater urgency this offseason, leaving pitchers Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields still searching for deals.