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Dodgers on the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot

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Dan Haren & Shane Victorino are in their first year on the ballot

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

After a busy stretch of inductions, the class of 2021 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame could be the lightest in years. At the very least, the seven former Dodgers on the ballot don’t figure to be enshrined into Cooperstown any time soon.

The Baseball Writers Association of America has elected multiple players into the Hall of Fame in seven straight years, with the 22 total BBWAA inductees the highest for any similar stretch. There are no obvious Hall of Famers in the group of first-timers on the ballot this year, headlined by Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, and Torii Hunter.

Among the returnees, Curt Schilling had the highest vote total last year, with 70 percent, with 75 percent required for induction. After that, Roger Clemens (61 percent) and Barry Bonds (60.7 percent) had the next-best vote totals, but have only made incremental progress and are running out of time, with only two more years on the ballot.

In potentially a relatively quiet year, let’s look at the seven Dodgers on the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot.

First-timers

Shane Victorino provided a constant reminder to the Dodgers of one that got away. They lose him in two different Rule 5 drafts, first in 2002 to the Padres, when he was returned to Los Angeles after 36 games with San Diego. Then again in 2004, this time the Phillies got him for good, able to showcase him as a difference maker in center field and atop Philadelphia’s lineup in consecutive NLCS drubbings of the Dodgers in 2008-09.

The Dodgers acquired Victorino at the trade deadline in 2012, but he was mediocre at the plate, hitting just .245/.316/.351 down the stretch in a failed playoff run. This was preceded by a 5.5-WAR season with the Phillies in 2011 and a 6-WAR season with the Red Sox in 2013.

Dan Haren pitched only one season for the Dodgers, putting up a 4.02 ERA, 87 ERA+, 4.09 FIP, and was sub-replacement level at -0.5 WAR. He also, at least as of 2014, never ate fish in his life.

With 186 innings pitched, his $10 million option for 2015 vested, but Haren was traded to the Marlins at the winter meetings in 2014, in the flurry of moves by Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi in their first offseason with the Dodgers. Haren was sent along with Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas to Miami — with the Dodgers paying Haren’s 2015 salary — in a three-way trade with the Angels that brought Kiké Hernández, Austin Barnes, Howie Kendrick and Chris Hatcher to Los Angeles.

Returnees

Gary Sheffield has the highest vote total of the group of former Dodgers, having received just 30.5 percent of the vote in 2020 in his sixth year on the ballot. He also has the best performance with the Dodgers of any of these players, totaling 17 WAR while hitting .312/.424/.573 in his four seasons in Los Angeles. Sheffield’s 129 home runs with the Dodgers are his most with any one team, in a career that included 509 homers. His 160 OPS+ with the Dodgers is the best in franchise history among players with at least 2,000 plate appearances, tied with Mike Piazza, the man he was traded for.

Manny Ramirez’s time with the Dodgers was brief but electric, his .396/.489/.743 line with 17 home runs in 2008 making him one of the great trade deadline acquisitions in baseball history. But his 2009 was marred by a 50-game suspension for performance enhancers, the first of two such suspensions in his career, which will likely prevent him from ever getting elected by the writers despite 555 career home runs.

Jeff Kent is in his eighth year on the ballot, after getting 27.5 percent of the vote last year. He played the final four seasons of his career with the Dodgers (2005-08), hitting .291/.367/.479, a 119 OPS+, averaging 30 doubles and 19 home runs.

Andruw Jones might very well be the best defensive center fielder since Willie Mays, but his time with the Dodgers was marked by failure. Signed to a two-year, $36 million contract, he hit .158/.256/.249 in 75 games with the Dodgers in 2008 and was jettisoned to Texas the following winter. Jones’ 35 OPS+ (yes, THIRTY FIVE) is the lowest single-season mark by a Dodger in the live ball era, with a minimum of 200 plate appearances.

Bobby Abreu had a 60-WAR career, but was slightly below replacement level with the Dodgers, hitting .246/.361/.344 in 92 games at age 38 in 2012. He received just 5.5 percent of the vote in 2020, earning him a second year on the ballot.

Dodgers on the HOF ballot

Player Pos Year on ballot Career WAR 7-year peak WAR JAWS Years with Dodgers Dodgers WAR
Player Pos Year on ballot Career WAR 7-year peak WAR JAWS Years with Dodgers Dodgers WAR
Gary Sheffield OF 7th 60.5 38.0 49.3 4 17.0
Manny Ramirez OF 5th 69.3 39.9 54.6 3 6.3
Jeff Kent 2B 8th 55.4 35.8 45.6 4 6.8
Andruw Jones OF 4th 62.7 46.4 54.6 1 -1.6
Bobby Abreu OF 2nd 60.2 41.6 50.9 1 -0.3
Dan Haren SP 1st 35.1 33.2 34.1 1 -0.5
Shane Victorino SP 1st 31.5 28.9 30.2 1 1.1
Source: Baseball-Reference More from Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs

Players need five percent of the vote from the BBWAA to remain on the ballot, with this year’s crop featuring 14 returnees and 11 first-timers. Results will be announced on January 26 on MLB Network.

Time to follow Ryan Thibodaux and his Hall of Fame tracker on Twitter. Just don’t expect any Dodgers to get inducted this time around.