The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released today by the Baseball Writers Association of America, and the three most prominent new additions to the ballot all spent time in the Rangers organization.
Pudge Rodriguez, of course, is the biggest name, and the question with Pudge seems to be whether he’ll get in on the first ballot, or if he will have to wait another year or two. Pudge’s resume is impeccable — he’s third all-time in bWAR among catchers, between Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk — and the only thing that might keep him out on the first ballot is if voters have concerns or suspicions about PED use.
Also on the ballot for the first time are Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez. Guerrero was the DH when the Rangers made the World Series in 2010, and while I think he’s not quite there when it comes to being Hall of Fame-worthy, he has a solid case, and I expect him to stay on the ballot for some time.
Ramirez, meanwhile, is one of the best righthanded hitters in history, but his history of PED issues likely will keep him from getting voted in. Ramirez also was with the Rangers organization back in 2013, when the Rangers signed him to a minor league deal and assigned him to Round Rock, though he never was with the major league club.
Ramirez also, if we go farther back, supposedly was traded to the Rangers, along with Jon Lester, in the 2003-04 offseason, in a deal that would have sent Alex Rodriguez to the BoSox. That deal fell through when the MLBPA wouldn’t approve ARod’s contract restructuring, and, well, we know what happened from there.
Also on the ballot for the first time are former Rangers Arthur Rhodes and Matt Stairs, as well as a guy I long wanted to be a Ranger, but who never was, Mike Cameron.