Pete Abraham has his Hall of Fame column up. It’s good, as usual.
This year he reconsidered his no-vote for Jeff Bagwell from last year, decided that not voting for him based on PED suspicion is “baseball McCarthyism” and cast his ballot for Bagwell. You may or may not agree with that (I do), but a person’s willingness to rethink past beliefs and change their mind is a damn admirable and damn rare trait. Good on ya, Pete Abe.
Apart from Bagwell he has Trammell, Raines and Larkin, which makes his ballot pretty fantastic in my view.
But that’s not why I’m linking it. I’m linking it for this comment about Jeromy Burnitz, who is also on the Hall of Fame ballot:
Burnitz would have fit in with the cast of “Jackass.” As a practical joke, he would empty out bottles of shampoo in the showers on road trips after the last game of the series and pee in them.
315 homers and an OPS+ of 111 is not good enough to get a corner outfielder into the Hall of Fame. But we have to give him a bit of a kicker for personality, don’t we?
The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.
Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.
Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.