Spring Training is just a few weeks away — and the Washington Nationals look like their in it to win it in 2015.
At a press conference today, the Nats introduced Max Scherzer as the newest member of their rotation. The 30-year-old right hander spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but after going 21-3 over 32 games in 2013 and winning the Cy Young famously refused to sign a contract extension. He dipped a bit in 2014, posted an 18-5 record in 33 games, but the drop off didn’t scare the Nationals. Washington signed Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract, which was finalized this afternoon.
“I want to win, and that’s why I’m here,” Scherzer said. “I think this team is capable of winning, and winning a lot.”
Since the Hall of Fame elections earlier this month, I have been thinking a lot about what players are most likely to make it to the Hall of Fame after they retire.
The Hall of Fame elections are based on record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character, and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played. This year, three pitchers who combined to win nine Cy Young Awards (Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz) and a member of Major League Baseball’s 3,000 Hit Club (Craig Biggio) were elected.
They’re all deserving of their place in the Hall. But what about today’s players? Who is playing right now that will one day end up in Cooperstown? I’ve picked who I think are the top five most likely current players to get called to the Hall.
The Baseball Writers Association of America has elected four new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame. A year after Atlanta Braves pitching greats Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were called to the Hall, their rotation-mate John Smoltz was selected, along with two other pitchers who redefined the position — Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson — and Houston Astros star Craig Biggio.
This was the first time on the Hall of Fame ballot for Smoltz, Martinez, and Johnson. Biggio got in on his third ballot. Johnson, though, was nearly a unanimous pick with 97.3 percent of the vote. Martinez earned 91.1 percent, Smoltz 82.9 percent, and Biggio 82.7 percent.
A player must receive at least 75 percent of the votes cast to be enshrined in the Hall. In 2014, Biggio just missed the cut with 74.8 percent. This year, it was all-time great catcher Mike Piazza coming up just short (he received 69.9 percent of the vote).
The four newest members of the Hall of Fame will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 26. Here are some stats on these certified legends to tide you over until the summer ceremony:
As 2014 comes to an end and I look back at the MLB players I have had the opportunity to interview, one of the most interesting things that I have found is who these players say inspired them and served as role models when they were growing up. I think you can learn a lot about a player by knowing who they looked up to growing up. It gives you a little insight about the player and what qualities of greatness inspired them.
Matt Nadel is one of MLB.com's youngest blogger. But he doesn't just contribute to the MLB website. Matt has also written an A-Z introduction to baseball history, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, published by Summer Game Books. It's currently an eBook and will soon be out in paperback. Matt is donating all of the proceeds from the sale of the book to four baseball charities: The Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Hall of Fame Museum, the ALS Association, and the Turn 2 Foundation.
When he learned about Matt, we thought we should have one of our own baseball-obsessed Kid Reporters, Max Ferregur, chat with Matt about being a kid journalist and learn some tricks of the trade.
The 2014 MLB season officially came to an end last night when the league and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the year's Most Valuable Players. And there was no real surprise: Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout was the unanimous choice as American League MVP, and in the National League Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw picked up the National League MVP to go with the Cy Young Award he nabbed a day earlier.
When 30 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America cast their votes at the end of the regular season, they made two decisions for the Cy Young Awards – one was obvious and the other a little more obscure.
On Wednesday night, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians were officially named the best pitchers in the bigs.