Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez for the Hall of Fame!

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Incredibly enough, he’s not even a Scott Boras client.

Tweets ESPN’s Jon Weisman:

In today’s mail, I received a 12-page full-color campaign brochure for Juan “Igor” Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame candidacy.

12 pages trumpeting Juan Gonzalez. Someone had a lot of time on their hands.

Gonzalez, of course, was a two-time MVP thanks to some very impressive RBI numbers (144 in 1996, 157 in 1998). He also led the AL in homers twice. He doesn’t have much else for black ink, though. He led the AL in slugging once in 1993. He never led the league in OPS. In fact, his highest finish there was fourth.

Gonzalez obviously comes up well short of Hall of Fame qualifications as is, though he’d rate as a very divisive candidate had he been able to stay healthy after age 31 and finished with 500-550 homers and 1,700 or so RBI. After that age-31 season with Cleveland, he had 277, 327, 127 and one at-bats the next four years, leaving him with 434 homers and 1,404 RBI.

Those totals rank 40th and 70th all-time, respectively. And those are the strong points of his case. His raw OPS of .904 ranks 61st all-time for players with 3,000 plate appearances, but that’s partly a product of his era and the ballparks he played in. Switching over to OPS+ drops him all of the way to 138th all-time.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being the 138th greatest hitter of all-time. Gonzalez was never a bad hitter at any point in his career. Even in his one off year in his prime, he hit .275/.330/.472. During those final four seasons with his body betraying him at every opportunity, he hit .286/.327/.503.

Gonzalez also hit .290/.333/.742 with eight homers in 15 postseason games (his teams lost all four of those series anyway).

Still, Gonzalez is no Hall of Famer, and it’s doubtful he’ll survive on the ballot another year after barely eclipsing the five-percent cutoff in his 2011 debut (he finished at 5.2 percent). A 12-page pamphlet isn’t going to change that.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.