On ballots, bidding and CC


Item: Hall of Fame ballot sent out

The Hall 2016 Hall of Fame ballots were sent out this week, which isn’t newsworthy since they’ve been settled since the end of the 2010 season and last year’s voting. 

What matters more is how many of them were sent out. Last year there were 549 votes cast; this year there will be at least 100 less, even if everyone votes. And we know that doesn’t happen unless it’s mandatory.

No word on how many Mike Piazza voters were eliminated (writers who have not been covering the game for more than 10 years lost their vote), or whether his 69.9% of 2015 might be enhanced.

Ken Griffey is a sure thing, though he won’t be unanimous, because someone will be protesting the steroid era or Pete Rose or protecting all the other non-unanimous Hall of Famers. Then that voter, or those voters, will get a week’s worth of columns explaining their vote and explaining their readers’ reactions to their vote, or lack of it for Griffey.

Every outrage deservs its 15 minute of shame, even if it makes no more sense than not voting for Griffey.

I’m more interested in hearing from the voter, assuming there is one, who hustles up a vote for David Eckstein. That ought to be good.

Item: Free agents set to move

Free agents can be begin to sign, and expect there to be contracts with lots of years and lots of zeroes.

MLBtraderumors.com says nine players will draw $20 million a year, and David Price will get $30 million a year.

Nothing against Price, or $30 million a year, but if he was worth that, Toronto would still be sweeping the confetti off its city streets.

The nine include four pitchers (Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmermann and Price), four outfielders (Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes) and one first baseman/slugger (Chris Davis).

Davis is represented by Scott Boras, who’s worth every dollar he earns by commission in entertainment value.

“For a guy like this to hit the market, it’s just an opportunity teams don’t get: A 29-year-old player who has 40-plus home run power, and he’s already hit 50 home runs,” said Boras, according to Jerry Crasnick at espn.com. “You have to go back to Prince Fielder and (Albert) Pujols and Alex Rodriguez — all these guys with 40-plus home run power. How often are they on the market? And when they are on the market, look at the impact they have.”

Boras might not want teams to look too closely. Fielder, Pujols and Rodriguez have combined for one World Series title in their 23-post free agency seasons, and A-Rod had to be traded to win that. All for the bargain price of $525 million, or $22.8 mill a year (Fielder $94 million for four years; Pujols $75 million over four years; and A-Rod $356 million over 15 seasons, which would have been more but for his 2014 suspension). And there’s only $307 million still to go.

There’s a temptation about free agency that’s hard to resist. Sometimes it’s better for teams if they do. Think Pablo Sandoval.

Item: Royals win three Gold Gloves

Reaction: That’s all?

Item: Is CC Sabathia a starter

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday that CC Sabathia wasn’t assured a spot in the 2016 starting rotation. And a day later manager Joe Girardi said, “I see him in our starting rotation.”

It’s nice to see they went to the same strategic planning sessions.

It might be not a sign of discord but perspective. Cashman thinks the Yankees have a bevy of starters, and they do, since it’s November. Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell might not look as good when there’s actually batters in the batter’s box.

Maybe Cashman thinks Sabathia needs incentive, and maybe Girardi thinks he needs reinforcement. It’s hard to argue with Girardi, since at $25 million next year, CC would be the most expensive long reliever in baseball.

Or maybe Cashman is projecting a starter into the Yankees’ rotation he doesn’t have yet. It’s hard to see the Yankees being idle with Price, Cueto and Greinke all available, knowing the Red Sox are interested, too. And that the Mets are the best team in town.

Who needs discipline when you can splurge?

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