With spring training just weeks away, here are three things we'll be watching around the baseball world throughout the day:
1. Who will receive the call from the hall?
The results of this year's Hall of Fame voting round will be announced at 5pm CT this evening, determining who will join former Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers manager Jim Leyland in his appointment to Cooperstown on July 13. Adrian Beltre He seems certain to join Leland in this year's class. As it turns out Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Tracker With the support of Ryan Thibodeaux, Beltre received votes on a whopping 99% of currently known ballots. With 53.4% of the ballots known, Beltre will need votes from fewer than 60% of the remaining ballots to secure his place in Cooperstown. Plus Beltre, the Twins catcher Joe Mauer And Rocky is the first baseman Todd Hilton Both appear to have a strong chance of getting the call this evening as votes stand at 82.9% and 82% of known ballots, respectively.
Southpaw closer Billy Wagner (77.6%) and a slow defense player Gary Sheffield (75.1%) Both are also on pace to pass the 75% threshold and get a plaque in Cooperstown, though the odds of either player succeeding are still up in the air at this point. This year's results are particularly important for Sheffield, as this is its 10th and final appearance on the ballot. By contrast, Wagner is in his ninth year of eligibility while Helton is in his sixth year. Mauer and Beltre just joined the ballot this year. On the other end of the spectrum, left-handed starters Mark Burleythird baseman David WrightThe right hand is closer Francisco RodriguezAnd a defense player Tori Hunter They were all chosen by between 4% and 8% of the public vote. Players need at least 5% of the total vote to remain on the ballot for the following year.
2. Paxton headed west?
The Dodgers appear to be close to reaching an agreement to add a third baseman to their rotation this winter, with reports indicating the club is nearing a one-year deal with the veteran southpaw. James Paxton. If the deal is completed, Paxton will join his teammates in offseason acquisitions Yoshinobu Yamamoto And Tyler Glasnow As well as internal weapons Bobby Miller And Walker Buehler Most likely in the club's starting lineup. The Dodgers have an open spot on their 40-man roster, so no similar move would be needed to bring in Paxton if the deal goes through. The Big Maple's potential departure from the free agent market takes another mid-major rotation arm off the board, leading to a departure Mike Clevenger, Michael Lorenzen And Hyun-Jin Ryu is among the best remaining options.
3. MLBTR Chat Today:
With just three weeks left until spring training, there are a lot of boxes yet to be checked on offseason shopping lists for clubs around the league. Are you wondering what's next for your favorite team, or maybe you're just curious about what a particular free agent market looks like? If so, tune in this afternoon when MLBTR's Steve Adams hosts a live chat with readers at 1 p.m. CT. You can click here to ask a question in advance, and the same link will allow you to join the chat once it starts or read the text after it's completed.
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