Reds sign Fred Lewis to a one-year contract

2 Comments

The Reds have signed outfielder Fred Lewis to a one-year contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he’ll make a $900,000 base salary, plus incentives.

Lewis was non-tendered by the Blue Jays in December after batting .262/.332/.442 with eight home runs, 36 RBI, 17 stolen bases and a 745 OPS over 480 plate appearances last season. The 30-year-old outfielder has a .272/.348/.418 batting line over parts of five seasons in the big leagues.

Lewis drew a considerable amount of interest this winter as a potential fourth outfielder, but it will be interesting to see how he is utilized by Dusty Baker. Lewis has a 796 OPS against right-handed pitching during his career, so there’s a chance he could find himself in a left field platoon with Jonny Gomes, who traditionally enjoys more success against left-handed pitching.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be announced this evening

Getty Images
2 Comments

This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was released just over two months ago. This evening at 6:15 PM Eastern, all of the arguing stops. Well, actually, it doesn’t stop, because it never stops. Not really. It just transforms into something more pointless, because as of then, the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be officially announced live on MLB Network.

The entire ballot can be found here. Two weeks ago I went through it, candidate-by-candidate, in order to determine who I would vote for if, in fact, I had a vote. For what it’s worth, I ended up with Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Manny Ramirez. and Scott Rolen.

No, not all of those guys will be elected. I strongly suspect we’ll get three, with an outside chance at a fourth. Based on the best Hall of Fame voting tracker out there, Mariano Rivera is a lock. So too, it seems, is Roy Halladay. Edgar Martinez — on the ballot for is tenth and final time — likewise seems to have the support to finally make it. He was 20 votes short last year and, so far, he has picked up more than 20 new votes among voters who have revealed their ballots. Assuming that previous Martinez voters who have not released their ballots do not backtrack — a safe assumption — Edgar should, at long last, finally make it into Cooperstown.

The last guy who, at present, is trending above the required 75% is Mike Mussina who, at present, is included on 81% of public ballots. There is a tendency for the non-public voters to be stingier with their support, however, so there’s a pretty decent chance that Mussina will fall just under the threshold and will find himself back on the ballot next year. A jump from last year’s 63.5% support to something in the 70s, however, would bode very well for his 2020 chances. If he somehow makes it this year’s class will rival last year’s four-person BBWAA-elected class as one of the better ones in living memory.

Who will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith on the stage in Cooperstown in July? We find out this evening, just after 6 PM.