On the 2020 Hall of Fame Ballot, there are 11 players with connections to the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter has the best shot of attaining immortality, but what about the rest?
Roger Clemens: His eighth year on the ballot, Rocket would be in the Hall of Fame already if not for performance-enhancing allegations. Much like Barry Bonds with the Pittsburgh Pirates, had Clemens simply stopped playing after his Boston Red Sox days, his numbers would still probably be good enough to get in eventually. Spending parts of seven seasons in the Bronx, Clemens helped the Yankees win two World Series titles, four AL pennants and earned the 2001 Cy Young Award. Look for Clemens to linger longer for another year.
Gary Sheffield: His sixth year on the ballot, like Clemens, Sheffield would be in if not for alleged performance-enhancing allegations. Sheffield slugged 509 career home runs and won a World Series title with the 1997 Florida Marlins. Sheffield displayed toughness and tenacity while in the Bronx from 2004-06. Sheff boasted two All-Star campaigns in pinstripes, smashing more than 30 home runs in 2004 and 2005, nearly killing third base coach Larry Bowa in the process. Sheffield’s stats will more than likely keep the five-tool player on the ballot for the foreseeable future.
Andruw Jones: His third year on the ballot, known more for a career which appeared to have a surefire Hall of Fame trajectory with the Atlanta Braves, Jones rounded out his career with the Yankees. Spending two seasons in the Bronx, Jones smacked 27 home runs between 2011 and 2012 in a mostly platoon role. In his second year on the ballot, I would suspect Jones will remain on, but his post-Braves playing days certainly leave voters wanting more.
Andy Pettitte: His second year on the ballot, Pettitte looks to improve upon his 9.9% from last year. Pettitte registered a 60.2 career WAR. During his time in pinstripes, the southpaw starter was thrice an AL All-Star, earned the 2001 ALCS MVP, and helped pitch New York to seven pennants and five World Series titles. He likely comes up short, but having No. 46 retired in Monument Park is a solid consolation prize.
Bobby Abreu: His first year on the ballot, Abreu posted a career WAR of 60.0. Playing parts of three seasons in the Bronx from 2006-08, Abreu posted a slash line of .295/.378/.465. A Brian Cashman steal from the Philadelphia Phillies, Abreu socked 43 homers with New York. Abreu helped the Yankees earn the 2006 AL East crown. The right fielder also hit the last postseason home run in the old Yankee Stadium in the 2007 ALDS. He probably doesn’t make it but his numbers keep him on the ballot for years to come.
Jason Giambi: His first year on the ballot, Giambi recorded a career war of 50.5. During seven seasons in the Bronx, the first baseman smacked 209 home runs. Giambi posted a slash line of .260/.404/.521 in pinstripes. Giambi was an absolute monster in 2002 and 2003, clubbing a combined 82 homers. Thrice and All-Star with New York, Giambi’s pinnacle moment was Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and his pair of home runs off Pedro Martinez. His numbers will keep him on the ballot, but his PED linkage will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Alfonso Soriano: His first year on the ballot, Soriano registered a career war of 28.2. Spending parts of seven seasons in the Bronx, Soriano’s career book ended in New York. Hitting 121 home runs in pinstripes, Soriano burst onto the scene by finishing third in 2001 AL Rookie of the Year voting. Helping New York to a pair of pennants, Soriano nearly cemented a fourth consecutive World Series title with his ninth-inning home run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. A silver slugger winner and twice an All-Star in New York, Soriano nearly became a 40/40 player in 2002, leading the Junior Circuit with 128 runs, 209 hits, and 41 steals, finishing third in AL MVP voting. His numbers are interesting and keep him on the ballot but he probably comes up short.
Eric Chavez: His first year on the ballot, Chavez posted a career war of 37.5. During his time with the Oakland Athletics, the gold glove third baseman had a career projection akin to Don Mattingly. In a pair of seasons in the Bronx 2011-12, Chavez filled in admirably for A-Rod at the hot corner. In 2012, Chavez clocked 16 home runs and posted a .845 OPS. Likely comes up short.
Raul Ibanez: His first year on the ballot, Ibanez posted a career war of 20.4. Ibanez played the 2012 season with New York, hitting 19 home runs. Ibanez’ signature moment in the Bronx came in Game 3 of the ALDS when he recorded a pinch-hit, game-tying home run in the ninth and later a walk-off home run in the twelfth against the Baltimore Orioles. Hall of the Very Good.
Brian Roberts: His first year on the ballot, Roberts registered a career WAR of 30.4. Roberts was a doubles machine with the O’s but his 2014 season with the Yankees was forgettable. The second sacker hit a paltry .237 in pinstripes. Take a picture, he won’t be on the ballot next year.