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37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)

Last updated 11-17-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Daniel Palencia
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

2016 Hall of Fame Predictions

This year’s Hall of Fame ballot has 32 players total, including 15 newcomers, for voters to consider. Last year’s elections saw four worthy candidates elected—Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio—and only one new-comer—Ken Griffey Jr.—is likely to get elected this year. This election is thus a crucial one for down-ballot players, especially given the reduction in the number of years a player can remain on the ballot from 15 to 10 made in 2015. Tim Raines is in his 9th year of 10, Jeff Bagwell is in his 6th year already, and Curt Schilling (4th year) and Mike Mussina (3rd year) need to start building momentum. It will also be interesting to see if the lack of big stars at the top of the ballot leads to more votes for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, especially now that Bonds has been named the Florida Marlins’ hitting coach.  

The results of the election will be announced on Wednesday, January 6. A player must appear on 75 percent of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballots to be inducted. Below are my brief thoughts on each player on the ballot and my prediction (in parentheses) for the type of general support they are likely to receive.

(97.5%) Ken Griffey Jr. – The “Kid” is a sure first-ballot hall of famer and will sail in easily. Unfortunately, some voters refuse to vote for anyone their first time on the ballot and others submit blank ballots in protest of the entire steroid era, so Griffey won’t be a unanimous selection. Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson received 97.2 and 97.3% of the votes respectively, and I expect Griffey to be at around the same number.

(79%) Mike Piazza – In the past three years Piazza has jumped from 57.8 to 62.2 to 69.9% of the vote. When a player gets this close, voters tend to converge and push him over, a fact made more likely given the lack of other star power on the ballot. Clearly one of the greatest offensive catchers of all-time, Piazza was hurt by criticisms of his defense and suspicions, though unsubstantiated, of steroid use. But it took Gary Carter 6 years to get in and he was as low as 33% at one point, so Piazza is doing well and should get in this year.

(65%) Tim Raines – Raines climbed to an all-time high of 55% of the votes last year, and with just one more year on the ballot after this, I expect more voters to shift votes his way. This will be a major test year for Raines. Modern statistics love him and his case has been taken up by many writers and analysts. If he polls in the 50s again, then it is clear that that hasn’t had an effect and his case will be left up to the Veteran’s Committee. If he can get close to 65%, however, then this will be evidence that momentum is building and may presage election next year.

(60%) Jeff Bagwell – He has remained relatively steady the last few years (56.0-59.6-54.3-55.7%) and so it is difficult to see him rising or falling much this year. But the overall weakness of the ballot might lead to a few more votes swung his way.

(50%) Trevor Hoffman – Accumulating 601 saves and being viewed as one of the two dominant relievers of his generation (with Mariano Rivera) is going to garner Hoffman considerable support. In my view, this is unfortunate since Hoffman provided very little value to his teams. Used as a one-inning reliever, Hoffman pitched barely over 1,000 innings, producing a career WAR of just 28.4, and was notoriously terrible in the post-season. The reality is that many middling starters could probably become closers and do a fine job, so the Hall of Fame should only be reserved for those that truly excel at the position—and Hoffman is not even close to the likes of Rivera, Wilhelm, Eckersley, and Gossage.

(45%) Curt Schilling – With John Smoltz getting in last year, the key question is what does that then mean for Schilling with a nearly identical W-L record and much higher WAR, or Mussina with 59 more wins and an even higher WAR? I think both rise some this year given the obvious comparisons to Smoltz and the lack of locks on the ballot.

(45%) Roger Clemens – Clemens debuted at 37.6% and has remained steady the last two years (35.4 and 37.5%), but initial public ballot tabulations have shown an increase in support, and some voters have publicly noted they have changed their positions this year. I thus expect an increase for both.

(45%) Barry Bonds – Bonds has been steady the last few years (36.2-34.7-36.8%) but I expect an increase this year (see my note above on Clemens).

(35%) Mike Mussina – Debuting at just 20.3%  and moving only slightly to 24.6% last year, Mussina demonstrates the importance of “magic numbers” in the Hall of Fame debate. He finished his career with a solid 20-9 season, leaving him with 270 wins overall. He had the potential to stick around for a few more years and try to march to 300—which almost certainly would have gotten him in, eventually—but chose instead to retire on top. I think Mussina has a chance to get in eventually, but it will be a while before that happens. As I noted above in the discussion of Schilling, I think the comparison with Smoltz and the relatively weak ballot might lead to a slight increase for Mussina this year.

(30%) Edgar Martinez – The great DH has polled between 25.2 and 36.5% on his five years on the ballot, with little sign of momentum.

(30%) Lee Smith – I wrote more extensively about Smith in a post last year, but his drop to 29.9% in 2014 did not bode well for him, and he garnered only 30.2% last year. There is little hope of Smith being elected by the baseball writers, especially with only one more year left. He may gain some votes given the presence of Trevor Hoffman on the ballot and more voters thinking critically about closers, but I do not expect much of change.

(28%) Alan Trammell – Sadly, the ship has sailed on Trammell. After gaining support from the mid-teens to mid 30s, he slipped to 20.8% in 2014 and was at just 25.1% in 2015. This year is his last year on the ballot and he will then shift to consideration by the Veteran’s Committee.

(17%) Jeff Kent – One of the greatest offensive second basemen ever, Kent has a long way to go and suffers from a comparison to a ballot full of offensive stars from a hitter’s era.

(16%) Mark McGwire – Another PED-linked star whose gained little support on the ballot, McGwire may see a slight boost (from his 10% last year) in 2016, given that it is his last year on the ballot and voters who vote for Bonds and Clemens may also vote for McGwire.

(14%) Larry Walker – Perhaps the most undervalued player on the ballot, Walker gained just 11.8% of the vote last year. He should continue to have the same level of support and remain on the ballot, but it would be a very long and unprecedented build towards election.

(13%) Fred McGriff – Like Walter, McGriff’s support has remained relatively steady on his six years on the ballot. He is far from election, but is not in immediate danger of falling off the ballot.

(10%) Gary Sheffield – With over 500 home runs and a career slash line of 292/393/514 there is a lot to like here, but he bounced around, was not well liked by the press, and is linked to PEDs, so it is difficult to see Sheffield getting much support beyond the 11.7% he debuted with last year.

(8%) Sammy Sosa – Sosa barely survived last year, with just 6.6%  of the vote, but could see a slight increase this year. In the end, however, voters have clearly made up their minds on Sammy.

(5%) Billy Wagner – Wagner finished his career with 422 saves and a 2.31 ERA, accumulating 28.1 WAR, essentially the same value as Hoffman. He also has essentially the same value as Smith and a half-dozen other relievers that I don’t think should be in the Hall of Fame. Wagner may get over 5% and live another year on the ballot, or may fall off after this one year—and either way I am fine with this assessment of Wagner. What perplexes me and many others is the huge difference in support relievers receive—there will be a huge difference between the votes for Wagner and those for Hoffman despite them essentially being the same player.

(3%) Jim Edmonds – I felt that Edmonds deserved his own write-up rather than being lumped with the guys below who will poll under 5%. Not viewed as a Hall of Famer and polling at just 2.2% of public ballots now, Edmonds is likely to be one and done, but deserves far better. He put up a career slash line of 284/376/527 or a .903 OPS—currently 60th All-Time. He had 393 HR, 437 2B, 1251 R, 1199 RBI, and 1949 H, all while winning eight Gold Gloves in CF and playing in the post-season seven times. He ranks 16th in career WAR for centerfielders and 15th in JAWS. But Kenny Lofton ranks even higher and got just 2.3% of the vote on his lone year on the ballot, so I don’t expect better from Edmonds. But he compares well with Andre Dawson and Richie Asbhurn, a clear step below the greats (Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, Griffey, Joe Dimaggio, Duke Snider), but a clear step above guys like Vada Pinson and Jimmy Wynn.

(2%) Nomar Garciaparra – This will likely be the last year for Nomar. He surprised last year on his debut with 5.5% of the vote, but many of those were probably token votes for him on this first time and many voters won’t repeat that this year.

The following players are appearing on the ballot for the first, and almost certainly, only time. Many will receive a handful of token votes, but none should achieve the 5% threshold needed to stay on the ballot. Fine careers, and an honor to make the ballot, but not Hall of Famers:

  • Jason Kendall (41.5 WAR, .288 BA, 2195 H)
  • Troy Glaus (37.9 WAR, 320 HR)
  • Mike Hampton (148-115, 4.06 ERA)
  • Luis Castillo (.290 BA, 370 SB)
  • Randy Winn (.284 BA)
  • Garrett Anderson (.293 BA, 2429 H, 522 2B, 287 HR)
  • Mike Lowell (223 HR)
  • Mark Grudzielanek (.289 BA, 2040 H)
  • Mike Sweeney (.297 BA, 215 HR)
  • David Eckstein (.280 BA)
  • Brad Ausmus

 Jason Kendall has the strongest argument here. He ranks 20th in career WAR for catchers, but much of that was due to longevity (he has the 5th most games caught in history) and he ranks more along the lines of Darrel Porter and Lance Parrish than hall of fame catchers. 


Tim Raines really should have had more support and I will be disappointed if he doesn't end up making it in. Edmonds should have more support than a lousy 3% (but I don't disagree with your prediction). McGriff has numbers that used to get you in the Hall but he was hurt by the steroid-era inflation of numbers. Also, he really seemed like he couldn't have cared less when he came to the Cubs -- both by taking forever before he consented to the trade and by playing first base with all the enthusiasm and flexibility of a statue.

[ ]

In reply to by JoePepitone

edmonds is really getting killed by all his injury shortened seasons. he played 17 sesaons and only 8-9 of them were close to full seasons (though we probably shouldn't count his 1993 cup o coffee). he was a HOF-quality player, he just had a very hard time staying on the field long enough to push his case. enough healthy playing time to add a few hundred more hits and a 100+ more walks we'd probably be wondering when he's getting in, not if.

"The Royals have considered free agent Austin Jackson if they're unable to re-sign Alex Gordon, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports." i thought he was signed earlier in the year. i suddenly feel uneasy even though he's not been linked to the cubs. sub-.700 OPS (for the 2nd year in a row)...made 7m last year...for some reason our manager let him lead off a lot...another posterboy for WAR raised eyebrows... scared. please sign with the royals...or anyone. hey japan, need a CF'r? korea? mexico?

[ ]

In reply to by Tito

amended... for some reason our manager lets him hit lead off or 2nd a lot. that should take care of 6-7 of his 12-ish Sept starts...either way i don't want to see this guy anywhere near maddon because maddon gets retarded with the dude.

Best wishes for 2016 to everyone at The Cub Reporter! My resolution are to try to cut down on in-game rants, and not panic when the inevitable sweep by some lousy team brings dark clouds to the North Side. Should be another fun year, but, buckle those seat belts -- expectations, and all that. Happy & healthy 2016!

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

I had a dream that the Cubs were 51-7 the other day. Those are my expectations now haha. Last year I predicted 80 wins or so. This year I'm going to assume they'll be in it to the end again, but injuries and other stuff happens so who knows. Happy New Year!

51-7... and still 1-5 against the Brewers.

Happy new year, everyone. Let the countdown to Spring Training begin!

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

i would calling picking the royals "bold" but i'll just stick to it making some kind of sense in his weird brain. they've lost a chunk of what made the team good and replaced it with chris young and j.soria so far. but hey, they still have their .293 ob% leadoff hitter and a WS trophy from 2015. j.heyward as MVP on the same team as rizzo, bryant, and schwarber...that's cute he picked heyward out of that list. maybe he'll hit more than 20 homers for the 2nd time in his career or finally snag 35 doubles. looks like it's time to pour out someone's leftover eggnog.

And the Bears 2015 mercifully comes to an end. I only wish they could have managed to have lost more. Picking at 15 or 16 in the draft not so great.

[ ]

In reply to by The E-Man

Yes, Mercifully. Last TD of the year appropriately scored by Matt Forte. Per my understanding the Bears by losing and having a 6-10 record drop from about the #14 pick to the 8-11 range, but they have the #2 Strength of Schedule (the 1st tiebreaker). They seem to have the #10 or 11 pick (probably #11). There are four 6-10 teams. Giants, Bears, Dolphins and Bucs. The 6-10 teams will pick in the 8th to 11th slots. edit: and after the Bucs lost they revised the list: Bears pick 11th. Miami picks 8, Tampa picks 9, Giants 10. Not sure why Dolphins pick ahead of Bucs as the Bucs had the lowest Strength of Schedule of the 4 teams at 6-10.… This is a draft order as of 4pm and it has the Bears picking #10. I think the Bears might have lost the tiebreaker to all the other 6-10 teams though based on Strength of Schedule. The above listing was before the Tampa game had been completed so Tampa probably will pick at 10. The Bears had the #2 Strength of Schedule only behind the 49ers. Strength of schedule rankings are based on the strength of the opponents that the team has played in the season to-date. Factors considered in these rankings include: margin of victory and wins and losses of opponents and the opponents of a team's opponents. I'm not sure how it's calculated exactly.

[ ]

In reply to by Tito

Forte probably isn't coming back and Jeffrey does have to prove he can play a full season. It's also not a guarantee he is coming back because he'll be looking for #1 receiver # money and I doubt the Bears want to pay that to a player who's barely been on the field. I think chances are they'll franchise him but that's definitely not a certainty. We do have White coming back and he has to live up to his #1 draft pick status because our draft picks have to start being able to stay on the field if we're going to have any success. Miller and Langford are both a bit undersized and have to show they can succeed as starters in a full year in a dedicated running offense especially with Miller'a injury history. The TE is asked to block a lot in this offense and that was something Bennett excelled at. Ultimately though offensively the biggest issue was atrocious pass and run blocking. We really need a left tackle because Leno is not that. Long might be able to slide over but it will still take some time for him to refine his play and we'd need a right tackle in the draft then. Also Grasu is too small at center for an offense that feature so many draw plays behind the center. Not sure what they were thinking with him. Overall if they can't get better blocking they're going to have to keep featuring a lot of those awful bubble screens. Curlers ability to move in the pocket and throw on the run is the only reason they didn't have tons more sacks and his age will eventually put an end to that. Defensively we need an impact inside linebacker and pass rusher. We made too many average QBs look like Dan Marino out there as we couldn't mount any pass rush and were awful in run defense too. And ugh they need to figure out special teams. Fox is loyal to a fault with his guys but that was an atrocious performance this season and Jeff Rogers has to figure it out or be held accountable. Ultimately what Bears fans have to see to have some hope for the future is how the draft pans out with a full year for Pace to have reviewed the team. The first draft hasn't been stellar so far but I think this next draft is the real key. We can't keep building through free agency as pick after pick fails.

[ ]

In reply to by johann

I agree about Jeffrey, but coming into this season he missed two games in two seasons (both in his rookie season). This year was hopefully an anomaly. I think they'll franchise him so he'll be back. (WGAF, but I misread Jeffery's games played. He played 10 games in his rookie year and then 14 and 16 the next two.) The special teams feel like they've been awful ever since Taub left.

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In reply to by Tito

Julio Jones is electric. Alshon is a good, big receiver, but he has to fight for every ball because he doesn't get separation. Forte is a good, solid, well-rounded back, but he doesn't have break-away speed or the ability to break tackles. Both are good players, but, given the offensive results this year, clearly they are not "electric".

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In reply to by Tito

Two Pro Bowls in 8 years for Forte. Career average 4.2 yards per carry. I would call that "good", but I know many Bears fans like him more than that -- he's a good no-drama guy, other than publicly lobbying for a new contract a few years ago. Hard for me to get to much more than "good", although he is a very good receiver as well as a good runner. But, as you say, nothing wrong with disagreement. I am probably somewhat impacted by how much it sucks to be a Bears fan.

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In reply to by billybucks

He's not the flashiest or fastest guy, and yes, he will often not break from the first tackle. But I still would call him great, and he'll be missed if he leaves. But we'll disagree on that as well. I do think Langford will end up being good as a #1 back if it comes down to that. I just couldn't get that upset about how this team played. It's a fool's game to say "Well, if this happened or that happened," but they were in nearly every game they lost. Contrast that to the games last year where they gave up 50 points. I had no expectations that they'd be decent and they were. Progress in my book.

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In reply to by billybucks

You realize these same arguments were made against Walter Payton right? If all a back is is a runner than breakaway speed and tackle breaking means more but when they are the complete package it doesn't mean as much. Forte excelled at every part of the game behind consistently bad offensive lines and in pass first offenses where he had to pass block a ton, run routes a ton and run a bunch of stupid draws which are rarely that effective. I would label Forte the best all around back in football for multiple years. Not running back, but all around back. Much like Walter Payton was never the best running back but was consistently the best all around back. And no Forte is not as good as Payton, but in an era of passing offenses and not as good backs he tops the list.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

1st rd picks do matter. That heralded rookie class last year were all 1st rd picks (excluding Soler, international free agent) - Schwarber(4th), Bryant(2nd), Russell(11th), Baez(9th). Plus Ramirez(44th) and Coghlan(36th) were too. Add this years Pierce Johnson(43rd), Brothers(34th), Heyward(14th). I'm not saying 2-6 aren't important though either. Currently on 40man 2-6 rds 2nd rd- Lester, Lackey, Wood, Vogalbach 3rd rd- Olmos 4th rd- Warren 5th rd-Arrieta, Grimm, Szczur 6th rd- Zobrist, Rizzo The fun is when you get into the 48th rd after thoughts and get C.J. Edwards

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In reply to by cubbies.4ever

All great points, but I think Old and Blue was talking about the Bears :) This is what happens on this blog in the winter sadly, the conversation really dries up or becomes non-Cub related. I'll write up a reaction to the Hall of Fame elections tomorrow night, so people have something to read and ruminate about. Then hopefully spring training gets here soon! I'm tired of winter already and it's really just beginning. 

Cardinals talking video board wars... (from Chicago Tribune, Tuesday):
The Cards are installing bigger and better video boards this offseason. According to  , the new main board will be three times larger than the previous one, with twice the brightness and resolution. The dimensions weren’t provided. One of the reasons they’re going bigger and brighter: the Cubs. “We did get upset actually when the Cubs had a better video board than us,” Joe Abernathy, the team’s vice president of stadium operations told  ’s Jennifer Langosch. “Especially with how it ended (in the National League Division Series) and all they’re doing now, we don’t want to be sitting behind the Cubs in anything.”

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In reply to by John Beasley

i's just not fun to sit around and watch everyone else shore up while the front office pimps their mega-omg-scoreboards, ad bridges, and other revenue projects. plus, having a gazillion foot television looming over the ballpark is as exciting as the rising ticket costs. months ago cards fans were pretty sure they were going to get a big pitching upgrade or at least retain heyward. now they're not even looking at much of a "2nd tier" pitching upgrade as those options sign away elsewhere (much less a big upgrade), and heyward signed with their 'enemy.' but hey, mike leake...yeah, dawg. go cards.

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In reply to by jacos

So far it hasn't been a great winter for them. But even if it ends that way, they've had a number of things go their way: No massive financial commitments No tradings from prospect depth Pirates look a little worse Only the Cubs and Arizona look significantly better in the NL Leake, Gyorko, and Pena aren't amazing, but they also aren't nothing They had the best record in baseball last year Neck tattoos OK, maybe not neck tattoos Point is, even if nothing else changes in the NL Central, by the time dudes are actually showing up at spring training and doing baseball stuff, the Cardinals are talented within the margin of error of the Cubs and no one's going to be sweating who won winter. If anything, Heyward giving the Cardinals bulletin board material is going to shift the pressure dynamics in a few months. I know Maddon's thing is to embrace the pressure, which I think is great, but there's no reason to amplify it.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    morel played somewhere besides 3rd and SS...he got 8 innings in CF, 2 putouts and an assist.

  • crunch (view)

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  • crunch (view)

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  • Bill (view)

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  • crunch (view)

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  • Arizona Phil (view)

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    So RHRP Yovanny Cruz (SD), C-INF P. J. Higgins (CIN), and now Carlos Guzman (NYM) have already signed 2024 minor league contracts with new MLB organizations, and OF Yonathan Perlaza is headed for Korea (Hanhwa Eagles).

  • crunch (view)

    ...and back to 3rd for another game.  at this point i'm gonna hang back and when/if he actually plays 1st then i'll find it notable.  i am glad he's playing a good amount of 3rd, though...give the club one more good look at him there.  shrug

  • crunch (view)

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  • crunch (view)

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  • Arizona Phil (view)

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