Every year Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times projects the results of the Hall of Fame vote. Not just who goes in, but the exact percentage of the vote each candidate gets. He’s pretty good at it: In the past four years he has made predictions for 63 candidates. Fifty of those candidates have come within five percentage points of the actual vote, and 22 have come within one percentage point of the BBWAA result. Last year his margin for error was 2.4 percent.
His column for this year is up, and it breaks down thusly:
Barry Larkin: 82%
Jack Morris: 65%
Jeff Bagwell: 54%
Lee Smith: 52%
Tim Raines: 52%
Edgar Martinez: 39%
Alan Trammell: 32%
No one else is over 30 percent. He has Bernie Williams at 12 percent, which would keep him on the ballot. He’s be the only new candidate this year to stick around for next. All of the usual holdovers like Dale Murphy, Mark McGwire and friends are north of that.
There is considerable precedent for guys who get over 50% of the vote to eventually make it in, so if Jaffe is right, it bodes well for Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. Jack Morris’ surge to from 54 percent to 65 percent would be notable, but one wonders if the extremely crowded ballot next year would allow for him to make it over the top.
Anyway, check out Jaffe’s column, which explains how he gets where he gets with these predictions and explains the curious dynamics of a Hall of Fame candidate’s journey from ballot newbie to Hall of Famer.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.