The last week in MLB was about three players being added to Baseball Hall of Fame, a starting pitcher inking an extension and a free-agent outfielder is off the board.
Bagwell, Raines, & Rodriguez Make Hall of Fame
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York as the trio was inducted into the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bagwell received 86.2 percent of the votes, Raines received 86 percent, and Rodriguez got 76 percent, per BBWAA.com.
Baseball Reference provided the full vote totals for players that were eligible:
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) January 18, 2017
It was great to see Raines make it in during his final year on the ballot. He was a dynamic player on the diamond, by utilizing speed.
He tallied 808 stolen bases over his 23-year career, which is fifth all-time and his stolen base percentage of 84.70 is 13th all-time.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed why Raines was a special player:
Tim Raines had 6 consecutive seasons of at least 70 SB. No other player in MLB history had a streak longer than 4 seasons. pic.twitter.com/pZiOo3UE83
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2017
Bagwell was selected in his seventh year on the ballot. He totaled 449 home runs, 1,529 RBI, 202 stolen bases, scored 1,517 runs and accumulated a lifetime batting average of .297.
The stolen bases that Bagwell tallied puts him in an elite group, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Jeff Bagwell is 1 of 11 1B with 200 stolen bases since 1900. He has 449 HR (the other 10 have 549 HR combined). pic.twitter.com/jqXdTApAt3
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2017
In addition to his solid statistics, Bagwell was selected as an NL All-Star four times, 1991 NL Rookie of the Year and 1994 NL MVP.
The aspect holding Bagwell back is that he put up great numbers due to performance-enhancing drugs.
Bagwell did admit to taking androstenedione in 1998, per Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated.
However, Andro was legal in the United States and MLB as well.
Bagwell will be remembered for his power, but he had solid running instincts.
Rodriguez had a career that was worthy of making it into Cooperstown. However, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America doesn’t generally put a player in their first year of eligibility unless they were special.
Rodriguez was a phenomenal catcher during his 21 seasons, he was selected as an All-Star 14 times and won the 1999 American League MVP.
One reason he deserved to be put into Cooperstown is that he caught more games, and won more Gold Gloves (13) than any MLB catcher, per MLB Stat of the Day.
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) January 18, 2017
Rodriguez was a dual-threat catcher with his hitting prowess at the plate and ability to control the running game. He crushed 311 home runs and posted a caught-stealing rate of 46 percent.
These three players were exceptional and had earned the right to call themselves Hall of Famers.
Some players narrowly missed being inducted, Trevor Hoffman (74 percent) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7 percent) will probably get in next year.
They will be joined on the ballot by some outstanding players such as Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Omar Vizquel, which would make the 2018 class very intriguing.
Royals Sign Duffy To Five-Year Extension
The Kansas City Royals have signed starting pitcher Danny Duffy to a five-year extension worth $65 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals have agreed on a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 16, 2017
The Royals also announced the extension on Twitter:
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) January 16, 2017
This is a fantastic move by the Royals as Duffy was set to become a free agent next winter.
He compiled a 3.51 ERA in 42 games (26 starts) in 179.2 innings with 188 strikeouts, 1.14 WHIP, 124 ERA+, 9.4 SO/9 and 42 walks issued.
The left-hander started 2016 in the bullpen for Kansas City before making his first start May 15 and emerged as the team ace.
Duffy gives the Royals an anchor for a starting rotation that was disappointing last year. The left-hander’s annual salary of $13 million is very reasonable.
The comical part is that Duffy won’t even be the highest paid starter on the club, Ian Kennedy will make an average of $15.6 million over the next four years.
The extension given to Duffy shows that ownership is willing to spend money to keep talented players.
Bautista Signs New Deal with Blue Jays
Jose Bautista is no longer on the market as the outfielder signed a new deal with Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week.
Bautista will make a guaranteed $18 million in 2017, including a mutual option worth $17 million in 2018 and a $20 vesting option for 2019, per Richard Justice of MLB.com.
— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) January 18, 2017
The Blue Jays were the logical choice for Bautista as they needed his power in the lineup, considering Edwin Encarnacion already signed with Cleveland Indians during the offseason.
The injury bug bit Bautista last year, appearing in 116 games and this hindered his performance. The king of bat flips hit .234 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI.
This was a good deal for both parties involved.
The Blue Jays don’t have to make a long-term commitment for a player entering his late 30s, and Bautista is able to play for a team that he’s comfortable with for at least one more year.
- Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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