With about 20 minutes to go until the Hall of Fame results are announced, Ryan Thibodaux — who has been doing yeoman’s work tracking writers’ submitted ballots — currently has Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez having crossed the necessary 75 percent vote threshold to be enshrined. Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero aren’t far behind, above 70 percent but below 75.
Throughout this entire process, fans and pundits alike have been criticizing some of the more curious ballots. There was Murray Chass and his intentionally blank ballot. Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer meant to abstain but submitted a blank ballot instead. Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe didn’t vote for Edgar Martinez because he wasn’t “feared,” apparently. The list goes on.
As a unit, though, the writers do a pretty good job of making the right calls. There are outliers, sure, but very rarely has the Baseball Writers Association of America inducted a truly undeserving player or completely whiffed on a deserving player. (Kenny Lofton, Alan Trammell, and Lou Whitaker notwithstanding.)
MLB’s official Twitter account polled fans this afternoon, asking if certain relevant players on the ballot (e.g. Mike Mussina, not Pat Burrell) were Hall of Famers. After collating the results, MLB found that the fans would have elected… no one.
No Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens is understandable, if naive. No Curt Schilling makes sense. But no Tim Raines or Edgar Martinez? No Billy Wagner or Larry Walker? The BBWAA has never looked better.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.