The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its 2018 ballot Monday and a few former Cubs are included.
Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano are among newcomers who will appear on the ballot for the first time.
Now, let me get this out of the way. Neither of those pitchers is anywhere near Hall-worthy, and I’d expect both of them to fall off the ballot after one voting season. It is, at the very least, a measure of the passage of time to realize that both of them have been out of baseball for five seasons, the minimum amount of time for any player to be considered for Hall induction.
There will be 33 players on the 2018 Hall ballot.
Here are the 14 holdovers from last year: Trevor Hoffman, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Fred McGriff, Billy Wagner, Barry Bonds, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Jeff Kent, Sammy Sosa, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker and Gary Sheffield.
In addition to Wood and Zambrano, here are the players appearing on the ballot for the first time: Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel, Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Liván Hernández, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Carlos Lee, Brad Lidge, Kevin Millwood, Jamie Moyer and Scott Rolen.
Quick take: Trevor Hoffman, who got 74.1 percent of the vote last year and missed induction by five votes, probably gets in this year. So does Vladimir Guerrero, who got 71.7 percent of the vote a year ago.
Of the new names on the list, Chipper Jones could be a first-ballot inductee. So could Jim Thome. If not, those two should get in very soon.
I don’t see anyone else on the new-player list who is anywhere near a Hall of Fame player. It will be interesting to see whether voters think Jamie Moyer is a Hall of Fame pitcher. In my view, it’s close for Moyer and worth thinking about for his sheer longevity, the fact that he was a capable starter for a World Series team in 2008 at age 45 and he stuck around and contributed till he was almost 50.
Regarding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it’ll be interesting to see how voters react this year, as both of those players got significantly more votes in 2017 than in previous years. Sammy Sosa didn’t; I wonder if he’ll be viewed more favorably now.
Who would you vote for this year?’
The results of this year’s Hall of Fame election will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 at 5 p.m. CT, live on MLB Network.