Beltrán, Lackey lead 14 newcomers on Baseball Hall ballot

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY
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NEW YORK – Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver are among 14 newcomers on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot in what could turn into an evaluation of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.

R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodriguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain also are new to the ballot, joined by Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA said Monday.

Holdovers include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was on 205 ballots (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).

Voters denied several stars tainted by steroids and scandal.

Barry Bonds (260 votes, 66%), Roger Clemens (257, 65.2%) and Curt Schilling (231, 58.6%) were dropped after their 10th appearances on the ballot last year and are among eight players who will appear on the ballot of the Hall’s contemporary baseball era committee, which meets Dec. 4 in San Diego ahead of baseball’s winter meetings.

Other holdovers on the BBWAA ballot include Andruw Jones (163 votes last year, 41.1%), Gary Sheffield (160, 40.6%), Alex Rodriguez (135, 34.3%), Jeff Kent (129, 32.7%), Manny Ramirez (114, 28.9%), Omar Vizquel (94, 23.9%), Andy Pettitte (42, 10.7%), Jimmy Rollins (37, 9.4%), Bobby Abreu (34, 8.6%), Mark Buehrle (23, 5.8%) and Torii Hunter (21, 5.3%).

Kent, who received his highest percentage last year, will appear on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Any players elected will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 23 along with anyone elected by the contemporary baseball era committee.

A nine-time All-Star, Beltran had a .279 batting average, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBIs and 312 stolen bases for Kansas City, Houston, the New York Mets, San Francisco, St. Louis, the Yankees and Texas. He was hired as Mets manager on Nov. 1, 2019, then was fired on Jan. 16 without having managed a game, three days after he was the only Astros player mentioned by name in a report by Major League Baseball regarding the team’s illicit use of electronics to steal signs during Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series.

Alex Rodriguez, a three-time MVP and 14-time All-Star who hit 696 home runs, was suspended for the 2014 season for violating MLB’s drug policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name was alleged to have appeared on a list of players who tested positive during 2003 survey testing.

Lackey won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Anaheim Angels as a rookie, then added World Series titles with the 2013 Boston Red Sox and the 2016 Chicago Cubs. He was 188-147 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 seasons and 8-6 with a 3.44 ERA in the postseason.

Weaver, a three-time All-Star, was 150-98 with a 3.63 ERA.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.