After a huge blitz in free agent signings at the start of the offseason, things are a little quieter these days. Apart from Carlos Correa (whose saga is complex), there are only second-rate free agents left, so things are slowing down.
And while deals seem relatively imminent, the hot topic in MLB is the Hall of Fame. It’s the time of year when reporters cast their ballots and debates rage over who should (or shouldn’t) be immortalized in Cooperstown.
This year, the debate is no longer centered on Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, but on Carlos Beltran. On paper, he has the numbers and the career to get into the Hall, but the problem is that he is one of the main architects of the Astros’ signal-stealing scandal.
And this is where a question arises: should we close the doors of Cooperstown to a guy like Beltran because of his involvement in the scandal?
In his paper explaining his own ballot, Ken Rosenthal claims he didn’t vote for him since it didn’t feel right to vote for a guy who is seen as the face of such a scandal.
That said, he says his decision is not set in stone and he could change his mind in the years to come. He notes that he’s not one of those who don’t vote for players in their first year of eligibility just for that reason, but in Beltran’s case it’s a bit different because of the scandal.
As Rosenthal notes, current projections suggest that Beltran will eventually enter within a few years. Nevertheless, he admits that he is uncomfortable with the idea of voting for him immediately.
He considered doing it, but preferred to wait (at least) another year.
However, not everyone seems to still hold it against him. A few weeks ago, the Mets wanted to offer Beltran a position within their coaching staff. Public opinion towards Beltran seems more positive than it was for Bonds and Clemens, say.
Obviously, Beltran’s case is interesting, but his case will be important to guys like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer, who could all find themselves on the ballot as well. If a guy like Beltran, who had an illustrious career, doesn’t get into the Temple because of the scandal, the other four will be much less likely to get in as well.
In short, I ask you the question: should we close the doors of Cooperstown to Beltran simply because of his involvement in the scandal (which is the only thing we can blame him for)? Would you vote for Beltran this year? Not this year, but possibly in a few years?