2016-12-03T12:18:01-05:00Sammy Sosa is still on the ballot. This is his 5th time on the ballot. Last year he received 7.0% of the vote (you need to get 5% to stay on the ballot). You know the Sammy Sosa story. Early in his career, he wasn't a great player, he chased too many pitchers, didn't take walks. Then suddenly he started hitting home runs by the dozen. He and Mark McGwire had a great battle to be the one to beat out Roger Maris for the home run record. They were credited with saving the MLB after 2 strike/lockout shortened seasons. He hit .273/.344/.534 with 609 home runs (8th all time), 1667 RBI (28th all time), in 2354 games over 18 seasons. He was an All-Star 7 times, MVP once, and came in 2nd once, and won the Silver Slugger 6 times. He had a career 58.4 bWAR. I'll admit I was never a fan. Mark McGwire had a value before the PEDs, but Sammy didn't have much value outside of the home runs. And he's been a bit of a jerk about it all, or at least comes off as one in interviews. I'm not one that believes players shouldn't be allowed in the Hall if they used, but, in Sosa's case, I don't think he would have come anywhere near Hall of Fame numbers without the drugs. He was also caught with a corked bat (if you are going to cheat, you might as well cheat in all ways). Normally I would say that the guy 8th all-time in home runs should be in the Hall, but in this case, there are so many other deserving players on the ballot, I can't get behind Sosa. You can see Sammy's stats here. Matt's graph: A lot of debate about the Hall of Fame relates to comparing a candidate against others elected and excluded. The chart below shows all players who played the majority of their career after 1945 (excluding active players, and those on the ballot or yet to hit the ballot) according to how long they played and how productive they were. TRC+ is wRC+, just for all runs rather than just batting runs. This is not meant to be definitive, but a high level starting point showing how players with similarly productive and lasting careers have fared. Similar Players: Harmon Killebrew (elected BBWAA), Tony Gwynn (BBWAA), Ernie Banks (BBWAA), Pee Wee Reese (elected Veteran's Committee), Richie Ashburn (VC), Buddy Bell, Ted Simmons, Willie Davis, Jeff Kent (ballot), Fred McGriff (ballot), Bobby Abreu (awaiting ballot). Poll Would you vote Sammy Sosa into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Yes No 0 votes | Results [...]
Over at MLB Daily Dish, they have a list of the players who were non-tendered and are now free agents. Go take a look and tell us about anyone that you would like the Jays to pick up.
I keep forgetting that the Jays could really use a backup catcher. Right now they have A.J. Jimenez on the 40-man roster, who could be an ok backup, but he’s spent more time hurt than playing over the last few years. I’m all for giving him a chance, but I’d like there to be another reasonable option when we head into spring training.
They also picked up Mike Ohlman on a minor league contract a couple of weeks ago. He’s turning 26 this month, and has had pretty reasonable minor league numbers. I don’t know much about him. I’ve seen comments suggesting he isn’t great defensively, but I don’t know if they are to be believed.
The catchers who were non-tendered are Ramon Cabrera, Welington Castillo, Eric Fryer, Bryan Holaday and Hector Sanchez.
Castillo is the one I’d like to have. He has a good arm, a bit a power. I really don’t understand why the Diamondback couldn’t have found a way to trade him, if they don’t want him anymore. I’m sure a number of teams will be contacting him.
Of the rest, I know Ben Revere will be the name that gets the most attention from Jays fans that are still pining over the guy. I’m not all that excited by the idea of him coming back, but then, I’ve found when I’m not excited about a guy, he generally turns up on the Jays roster at some point.
There are a couple of other outfielders on the list: Gabriel Guerrero, a right-handed hitter who couldn’t make it with the Reds, and Jared Hoying, a left-handed batter, who has shown power, in the minors, but, is 27 now and has a total of 49 MLB plate appearances.
Chris Carter is also on the list, a right-handed hitting first baseman, who, if platooned with Justin Smoak, could help us set a new franchise record for strikeouts. He did hit 41 home runs last year and he does walk a fair bit. But, he led the NL in strikeouts and had a .222 batting average. Put me in the no column.
There are also a few left-handed pitchers, and we could use some southpaws in the pen. Gerardo Concepcion, Cody Ege, Jacob Lindgren and Jeff Locke are now free agents. Of those, Ege or Lindgren might be interesting to look at.
Tell us which of the non-tendered free agents you would like the Jays to consider.
2016-12-02T20:50:33-05:00Love them tenders: Barney, Carrera, Loup, and Stroman to remain under club control On the final day major league teams could tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Toronto Blue Jays will retain control of Darwin Barney, Ezequiel Carrera, Aaron Loup, and Marcus Stroman. In unrelated moves, the Jays have removed Chris Colabello and Andy Burns from the 40-man roster after both of them passed through waivers. #BlueJays tender contracts to Stroman, Barney and Loup. Chris Colabello and Andy Burns clear waivers and are outrighted off roster— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 3, 2016 thanks curt pic.twitter.com/rUEQOrOcAB — Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) November 8, 2016 On the plus side he is a fan of OOTP Baseball: "The only baseball sim I've ever gotten addicted to" was OOTP. Normally I would say that his views shouldn't cost him in the vote, he should be judged on his pitching, but sometimes it's hard to get past things. I would have a hard time voting for Roger Clemens. And, if I was a reporter, I'd have a hard time voting for a guy that thinks it's funny to joke about hanging journalists. His career stats are here. Matt's graph: A lot of debate about the Hall of Fame relates to comparing a candidate against others elected and excluded. The chart below shows pitchers who played the majority of their career after 1945 (excluding active players, and those on the ballot or yet to hit the ballot) according to how long they played (innings pitched) and how productive they were (adjusted ERA). This is not meant to be definitive, but a high level starting point showing how players with similarly productive and lasting careers have fared. Similar Players: Juan Marichal (elected by BBWAA), John Smoltz (BBWAA), Hal Newhouser (elected by Veteran's Committee), Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina (ballot). ERA- shortchanges Schilling because he allowed so few unearned runs, adjusting for that (run prevention of about 76 rather than 80) Whitey Ford (BBWAA) is an excellent comparison. Poll Would you vote Curt Schilling into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Yes No 395 votes | Results [...]