With more of the Steroid Era names cycling off the ballot each year – rightly or wrongly – we are getting more and more new names on the official BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot.
The 2024 installment just came out:
A total of 12 new candidates are on the ballot this year among the 26 names, and I think at least a few are worthy of consideration. Adrian Beltre, by contrast, merits no discussion at all, because he’s an obvious yes in my book. Among the other new names, I think you could FASHION AN ARGUMENT for Bartolo Colon, Joe Mauer, and Chase Utley, though I might need some convincing. Of those three, Utley probably has the best chance of getting in, though perhaps not on the first ballot.
As for the returning names, there are several “Hall of Fame caliber” players, all of whom have generally been excluded for reasons not directly tied to their numbers: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, and Carlos Beltran. None are particularly close to getting close to the 75% of the vote needed for enshrinement, though Beltran – the sign-stealing scandal in Houston – could make a good jump this year, since he’s not being punished in the same way the others are for connections to PEDs.
Todd Helton just barely missed last year, so he’s probably getting in this time around. Billy Wagner was also very close, and I think there’s a fair argument there, if we want to think about relievers as their own category, with the very best of the best of that group deserving a spot. Andruw Jones didn’t reach 60% last year, but he deserves to get in. I also think people are really sleeping on Bobby Abreu’s candidacy, even though he is still landing in the teens.