For 30 years a man named Bill Deane has been predicting the Hall of Fame vote. He has a nearly 80% success rate in getting the votes right, so that’s pretty good. His prediction this year: Barry Larkin is the only inductee.
Hard to argue with that. Larkin was close last year and a jump from the 62.1% he received to the 75% he needs is quite doable in an otherwise undistinguished field. None of the new guys are likely to get a ton of support and none of the non-Larkin holdovers are likely to gain nearly enough to make it.
As I noted yesterday, there are several people on the ballot who should go in. But given that won’t happen, it’ll be nice to see the very-deserving Barry Larkin make it.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.