Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times does an annual column projecting the Hall of Fame voting based on previous results and he’s had some remarkably accurate predictions in the past.
After crunching the numbers this time around Jaffe projects that Roberto Alomar will get in easily with around 87 percent of the vote and Bert Blyleven will also be inducted with about 80 percent. Both players were at 74 percent last year, which was Alomar’s first time on the ballot and the 13th try for Blyleven.
Jaffe projects that Jeff Bagwell will receive 35 percent of the vote, which is a depressingly low total for a player who’s clearly above the Hall of Fame standard for first basemen. However, according to Jaffe “only twice has anyone debuted as well as I’m predicting for Bagwell and not subsequently made it into Cooperstown.” He deserves much better than 35 percent on his first ballot appearance, but even that too-low mark bodes well for Bagwell making it eventually.
Check out Jaffe’s article to see projected vote totals for everyone else on the ballot prior to the actual results being announced Wednesday.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.