morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its 2021 class on Tuesday, and ... nobody got elected. It’s the first time since 2013 that no player made the cut on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) ballot.
The closest candidate was Curt Schilling, who received 71.1% support but fell 16 votes shy of the 75% threshold. Still, that represented a slight increase over his showing last winter, and he has one more year of eligibility remaining. Nobody has ever gotten this close and not made it eventually.
However, if it’s up to Schilling, he won’t even bother with his 10th and final try in 2022. The former pitcher, who has become a polarizing figure who loudly expresses controversial opinions, requested to be removed from the ballot next year. The BBWAA has recommended that the Hall of Fame deny this request.
Curt Schilling in letter to the Hall of Fame: "I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 26, 2021
The rest of the voting, with percentages out of 401 ballots submitted:
- Curt Schilling, 71.1%
- Barry Bonds, 61.8%
- Roger Clemens, 61.6%
- Scott Rolen, 52.9%
- Omar Vizquel, 49.1%
- Billy Wagner, 46.4%
- Todd Helton, 44.9%
- Gary Sheffield, 40.6%
- Andruw Jones, 33.9%
- Jeff Kent, 32.4%
- Manny Ramirez, 28.2%
- Sammy Sosa, 17.0%
- Andy Pettitte, 13.7%
- Mark Buehrle, 11.0%
- Torii Hunter, 9.5%
- Bobby Abreu, 8.7%
- Tim Hudson, 5.2%
Bonds and Clemens didn’t move much from last time, with one more year of eligibility remaining in 2022. The biggest gains were made by Rolen (up 17 percentage-points, on his 4th try), Wagner (up 15% on 6th try), Helton (up 15% on 3rd try), Sheffield (up 10% on 7th try), and Jones (up 14% on 4th try). Vizquel went down slightly in his 4th try.
Eight more players fell beneath the 5% cutoff for future qualification, and will be removed from the ballot next year: A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, and Barry Zito. Only Ramirez (4), Hawkins (2), and Zito (1) got any votes at all.
According to twittter I was NOT elected to the baseball hall of fame. They will tell me I’m taken off the ballot next year, but I’d first like to announce that I’m REMOVING MYSELF from next years ballot and any going forward.— dan haren (@ithrow88) January 27, 2021
For A’s fans, there were four key names to follow here. Hudson was the only one to clear the 5% cutoff to stay on the next ballot, one of only three first-timers to do so this year (along with Buehrle and Hunter). Haren, Swisher, and Zito will settle for the honor of just having been on the ballot at all, which only a tiny percentage of MLB players can say, and Zito at least managed to net one vote.
Normally, when the BBWAA doesn’t elect anybody, there’s still a chance of somebody being inducted via the Veteran’s Committee. However, the committee did not meet this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic, so no new players will enter the HOF at all in 2021 for the first time since 1960.
Looking ahead, the 2022 ballot will welcome notable newcomers including Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.
- AN: Blue Jays sign Marcus Semien, A’s whiff on obvious opportunity
- Woo: Five potential Marcus Semien replacements for A’s to play shortstop
- Slusser and Kawahara: Free-agent starter Mike Fiers wants to return to A’s, but it’s complicated ($)
- Kawakami: Will Billy Beane stay with the A’s in 2021? ‘Yes, absolutely, yeah’ ($$$)
- Bleav podcast: Host Ben Ross joined by Jesús Luzardo
- AN: John Fisher’s net worth has risen over past year, while his Oakland A’s cry poor
MLB News & Interest
You could write this exact tweet by replacing Blue Jays with A’s, and Martin/Groshans with Allen/Davidson. Literally an identical situation.
Semien's talent and term (1yr) line up very well for the #BlueJays here.— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) January 27, 2021
Top prospects Austin Martin (No. 2) and Jordan Groshans (No. 3) could be part of this infield picture by 2022. Semien helps them win now, but also let's them reevaluate next fall.
OK, but the A’s could still pivot to another SS option like Andrel—
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a one-year, $10.5 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 27, 2021
Oh, well then what about finding a cheap veteran stopgap like Fredd—
According to a source, Freddy Galvis has signed with the Orioles for $1.5 million and has no 2022 option. He also has a $250,000 trade bonus.— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) January 26, 2021
Welp. There’s always 2B, where the A’s could bring back—
Infield market keeps on churning: Second baseman Tommy La Stella and the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Once completed, the deal is expected to be for three years. @PavlovicNBCS first said the sides were nearing a deal.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 27, 2021
New catcher for the Tigers
Another cheap, interesting reliever off the board (last 2 years in limited duty: 1.25 ERA, 2.60 FIP)
O’Day receives $1.75M in 2021 There is a $1.4M player option for 2022 or a $700G buyout. If O’Day declines the option, the Yankees have a $3.15M option.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 27, 2021
Best of Twitter
I know I’m off the beat now the A’s not doing a one year deal for Semien under the QO is not a good sign for the direction the franchise is taking. They’ve been telling agents they have no money. I guess they really don’t, considering Semien’s importance to the team/community.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 26, 2021
Chapman-Chapman-Olson-Olson infield is the new All-Sweeney outfield
A's are really going to be testing the Matts range with no middle infield at all— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) January 27, 2021
Jersey number updates!
Cowgill mooooves into the coaching ranks, after a 12-year playing career in the pros
Former A's outfielder Collin Cowgill joins the Mariners MiLB staff as a Double-A manager. https://t.co/ejrCHgcWX0— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) January 27, 2021
Not baseball, but a story of when sports go right, and of a team standing by its people during tough times
A possibly life-saving trade for Caris LeVert. He underwent a physical with Indiana, which ultimately helped him diagnose and treat the cancer. The Pacers stood by him and the trade and have made it a priority to help him get fully healthy.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2021
Prayers up. https://t.co/3WqMgrLt9S