Twenty-Seven Yankees Currently Have a Shot At The Hall of Fame

There’s the mainstream media, once again underestimating the New York Yankees. Mark Hale of The New York Post wrote a piece this weekend: “Nine current Yankees have shot at Hall of Fame.”

The Yankees could see nine players on this year’s squad be enshrined in Cooperstown — which would match the most by any team — coincidentally, with the 1931, 1932 and 1933 Yankees, who also had nine players make it.

Nine? What in the world is Mark Hale talking about? The Yankees have at least twenty-seven players on their 40-man roster likely to make the Hall of Fame and possibly as many as forty-three. Sure, the nine mentioned in the article (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Andruw Jones) are all obvious slam-dunks, especially Teixeira, but how in the world could Hale ignore the achievements of the other eighteen HOF slam-dunks on the Yankees roster?

Jayson Nix: Batting .357 since the All-Star Break. That’s Tony Gwynn territory there.

Joba Chamberlain: An amazing comeback from breaking his leg into sixteen pieces after eating a trampoline. He’s struck out more than a batter an inning for his career. He hasn’t hit a batter since 2011. Amazing.

Eric Chavez: The case has been made. He was on a Hall of Fame path until he was derailed by injuries. Surely we can’t hold injuries against him. He’s clearly there. If Eduardo Nunez is going to make it (and, you’ll see below, he most certainly is), could anyone keep out Chavez?

Cody Eppley: Who? Exactly! From out of nowhere, a huge season for the reliever no one has ever heard of. Did you know he hasn’t blown a save all year? Almost certainly could outpitch Hoyt Wilhelm today.

Curtis Granderson: His 7th most similar batter through age 30 is Hall of Famer Larry Doby. Case closed. (Granderson is too good to deserve being in this post, but, alas, here he is.)

Phil Hughes: He has some shockingly pretty minor league stats. 32-8, 385 Ks in 344 innings. And he’s absolutely been a serviceable starter this year. 20 more seasons significantly better than this one and he’s Tom Seaver.

Raul Ibanez: If Ibanez had gotten regular playing time before age 30, who knows. As it is, he has 266 career home runs, almost 2000 hits, similar players include Hal McRae, Felipe Alou, some very good outfielders (and future managers). If he plays until he’s 50, doing what he’s done over the past 10 years, I think he has to be a slam dunk.

Brandon Laird: It may seem silly to predict a Hall of Fame career off of 21 major league at bats and a batting average (and slugging percentage) of .190, but if anyone with a career minor league K/BB ratio of almost 3/1 and no clear path to major league playing time is going to make it to Cooperstown, it could be Laird.

Boone Logan: Did you know he doesn’t have a middle name? That’s according to, in case anyone wants to verify. Who says there isn’t room for more completely serviceable middle relievers in the Hall of Fame? Not me, that’s for sure.

Nick Swisher: I really like Nick Swisher. He’s been on most of my fantasy teams for most of the past 8 seasons. He is in my fantasy team Hall of Fame for sure. Which means that when I get to run the real Hall of Fame, he will be in the first year’s class. Case closed.

Rafael Soriano: What can I say about Rafael Soriano that hasn’t been said by someone else, at some other time in history? He has never had a major league season, except for 5 of them, where he struck out fewer batters than innings pitched. He has never had a season, except for 3 of them, with an ERA over 4. He also, crazy enough, doesn’t seem to have a middle name. Why did I say 27 Yankees in the headline instead of, I don’t know, 16? Because then this post could be over by now. If only I were allowed to edit the words after I type them.

David Phelps: You wouldn’t know unless you looked at his stats, but Phelps has never had a bad season. His minor league ERAs have been under 3.00 each of his 5 years, he hardly walks anybody, he’s doing in the majors this year exactly what he’s always done in the minors. If he could do this for an entire career, and he wasn’t already 26 years old, he probably would be a Hall of Famer. That is the best case I can make here.

Ramiro Pena: Please let me end this post.

Eduardo Nunez: Has done slightly better in the majors than he did in the minors, and has a healthy number of triples. Someone is going to accidentally vote for him to be in the Hall of Fame.

Casey McGehee: He has a .400 OBP in one game as a Yankee. That is a Hall of Fame-type stat. He’s 2 for 9 as a basestealer in the major leagues, and was 7 for 22 in the minor leagues. That is very bad. But should not greatly affect his case for Cooperstown.

Russell Martin: Thurman Munson is #2 on the similarity score list through age 28. Thurman Munson is probably one of the players most often mistaken for being a Hall of Famer, at least by me, who made that mistake once when I was looking something else up for a post a few weeks ago. Vida Blue is also on that list for me. I don’t know why.

David Aardsma: Yet to give up an earned run in 2012, not even for the Gulf Coast Yankees. Historic season.

Francisco Cervelli: What? He’s been in AAA all year? So what? He’s a Yankee. How can he not end up in the Hall of Fame?

Print This Post

Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

28 Responses to “Twenty-Seven Yankees Currently Have a Shot At The Hall of Fame”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. So Dumb says:

    Jeremy Blachman is Currently a ******* Idiot

    -22 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Matt says:

    28. You forgot Michael Pineda.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. TheoK says:

    Was this really necessary? Are you mocking The Post for being accurate?

    Those 9 all DO have at least a shot at making the HOF, do they not?

    -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Mark Teixeira does not have a shot.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Big Jgke says:

        Unless modern-era pitchers somehow start getting graded drastically different than their predecessors Sabathia and Pettite are no locks either.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Preston says:

          Pettitte is already a bubble candidate, and the thing keeping him out is probably HGH and not his resume. CC is definitely on track for the Hall. Barring serious injury/decline he’ll be in the HOF one day.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Preston says:

        Probably not, because he’s been in serious decline the last few seasons. But if this post had been made following the 2009 season it wouldn’t have seemed silly at all. He does have a legitimate shot at getting to 500 homers, which might be important to Hall writers again in the post steroid era.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Derek Jeter: in
      Mariano Rivera: in
      Alex Rodriguez: in
      Ichiro Suzuki: in as Mariner
      Robinson Cano: could be; too soon to tell

      Mark Teixeira: not much chance
      CC Sabathia: meh, maybe
      Andy Pettitte: meh, maybe
      Andruw Jones: ha!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jcxy says:

        actually, i’d wager jones has a better shot than arod because of the steroids admission.

        andruw jones was *really* amazing for a 5-10 year period and still managed to compile 70+ WAR despite falling off a cliff at age 30. the only thing that’s potentially holding him back (besides writers who won’t vote for anyone from that era) is that the bulk of his value came from defense. we’ll see.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Are there that many HOFers who fell off a cliff after only a few years, though? Outside of Koufax it’s hard for me to think of one.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

          • jcxy says:

            you’re using the wrong condition: are there many in the HOF who put up 70 WAR in spite of falling off a cliff? probably not (because getting to 70 WAR is incredibly hard to do). whether or not jones fell off a cliff becomes less relevant to the HOF discussion once you post that kind of career production. here’s the list of HOF-eligible players with more career WAR than Jones who aren’t in Cooperstown:
            Jeff Bagwell
            Lou Whitaker
            Rafael Palmeiro

            that’s the list.

            also, koufax never fell off a cliff. he retired at 30 after winning the Cy and posting a 2.07 fip.

            Vote -1 Vote +1

          • PrettyRicky says:

            Andruw Jones is one of six outfielders to win at least 10 Gold Gloves, the others being Clemente, Mays, Griffey, Kaline and Ichiro. HoF voters (a.k.a. geezers) probably care about that.

            Vote -1 Vote +1

          • jcxy says:

            defensive metrics concur with the eyes of the gold glove voters–andruw jones was a thing of beauty in center.

            Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Lichtenstein says:

          Funny how now the bulk of his value comes from his bulk

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BX says:

        Andruw Jones has a chance as a Brave.

        Sabathia has a chance if he continues his pace.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Everett says:

    “especially Teixeira” was the funniest part of this post, and I mean that as a compliment.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. nu?! bully baroooooo says:

    Teixera might be the most over-payed, overrated player… Ever.

    “John, Roga Clemens is in Joges box! The drawmaw!” Suzyn Waldmyn

    Munson, Blue, Elston Howard, Tiant and Hodges are all easily mistaken HOF’ers.

    Dale Murphy & Dewey Evans are should-be HOF’ers, and by this author’s logic so should Mike Greenwell (re: lifetime .300 hitter, GW RBI Season record)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. tom s says:

    This was my first “not graphs” article.

    It was pure, comic genius.

    As for the 9: Andruw Jones has been a platooner since he turned 30. Teixiera is a good glove, good RBI guy and that’s it. Cano and CC are a little young to talk about Hall of Fame. Pettite? Yea, maybe

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      And the problem with being a “good RBI guy” is that in that lineup, they could let Mariano Rivera hit fifth and he’d probably drive in 50 or 60 runs. Even with the knee.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. MuseumTwenty says:

    What about John Sterling? He’s been a Yankee for many championship seasons. And when I say “been,” I mean on the payroll. And if there’s a more important stat than money, Pete Rose hasn’t seen it.

    (Do you realize that, someday, someone will seriously advance John Sterling’s name for the Frick award? What the Frick!?!)

    PS: The word “been”, seen in quotes without additional supporting verbiage, seems funny to me. Mind you, I now have “bleeding out” as a career goal. When is it not?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. nu?! bully baroooooo says:

    BTW, Great piece Blachman!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. wolveman says:

    Jeter, Ichiro, A-Rod, and Rivera should be in for sure.

    I’d also put Jones in. Perhaps the most elite defensive outfielder ever, and had quite a bit of power (.232 career iso, and not that counting stats should be the difference, but he is 5th in hr among CF and he was a great CF).

    He had 63.2 WAR BEFORE his 30th birthday (kinda arbitrary, but not totally). That’s 21st all time. I think you may recognize every single player in front of him. If his career had somehow tragically ended then, I don’t really have a doubt that he would have gotten in.

    I think he is more qualified than Andre Dawson or Jim Rice (recent inductions) and several other OF inducted in the past.

    Additionally, (this should matter the least, but often matters the most) he is effectively platooning his way to some major milestones. ZiPS has him hitting 5 more HR this year, putting him at 437. That is 63 short, and he has hit 67 (counted the projected 5 more) in the past 4 seasons. He’s still 35. If he reaches it, I’d be shocked if he wasn’t eventually elected to the HoF.

    Andruw Jones rant complete

    Cano? I doubt it. He can hit, but he isn’t much defensively or on the basepaths… he’s short of 30 career WAR (although he’ll almost certainly pass that mark in the next couple of months) and he’ll turn 30 during the off season. I have trouble imagining him putting up the counting numbers or the value in his 30’s to get in.

    as for Pettite? BBR’s similarity scores have David Wells, Kevin Brown, Bob Welch, and Mike Mussina as his most comparable. That seems pretty accurate to me. All those guys were very good, but not HoF worthy imo (even though I feel Browns vote totals have been insultingly low). He did however pitch for the Yankees and has RINGS MAN.

    CC has a pretty good shot. He is over 60 WAR, has already had three 7+ WAR seasons, he is durable, he’ll most likely eclipse some nice counting stats… and on a personal note his career ERA is identical to his career FIP and I like that.

    I think that covers any current Yankee with any sort of realistic chance at the Hall.

    I like Notgraphs, good article.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Brian says:

    Another part of the joke here is comparing this Yankees team to the ones that had 9 HOF players when Jeter, Ichiro, Jones, Pettite, Tex, A-Rod are all shells of what they were. Rivera’s been hurt practically all year. Cano and Sabathia are still good.

    Oh, and how the article this is in response to seems to ignore that Ichiro was a Mariner (and his Yankee stats will be a facepalm on his career info like Henderson in Toronto), Jones will be remembered as a Brave, A-Rod could easily be remembered as a Mariner or Ranger, and Teixiera’s big years were as a Ranger.

    Vote -1 Vote +1