Early on Monday afternoon, the 2023 ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame was released, and the Yankees will be well-represented with seven former Bronx Bombers up for induction this year. Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltrán, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Sheffield are among the 28 players who will be voted on by the BBWAA for the Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Abreu, Jones, Pettitte, Rodriguez, and Sheffield are returning the ballot, while this will be Beltrán and Ellsbury’s first year of eligibility.
You can find the full Hall of Fame ballot here courtesy of ballot tracking expert Ryan Thibodaux:
The 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot: pic.twitter.com/zrwNv43nWj— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) November 21, 2022
Beltrán seems the most likely of anyone on the ballot, newcomer or no, to get voted in. His 70.1 career WAR according to Baseball Reference put him in pretty elite company among center fielders. His role in the Astros’ sign stealing scandal might lead to a drop from what he would’ve gotten otherwise, but it seems likely that Beltrán will get in at some point, if not this year. With only three years in the Bronx, he certainly wouldn’t have a Yankees’ logo on the cap of his plaque or anything, but he did have a couple solid years with the team before they traded him to the Rangers at the 2016 deadline.
Beyond Beltrán, it seems like an uphill climb for any other Yankee to get in at all, never mind just this year. Voting-wise, Andruw Jones has done the best, getting 41.4 percent last year in his sixth year of eligibility. Gary Sheffield was not far behind him at 40.6 percent, but this is set to be his ninth year on the ballot. Alex Rodriguez, of course, has the legendary numbers, but his association with steroids make it hard ask. He did get 34.3 percent in his first year last year, but he’s not going to get a 40-point jump in one year. Maybe that will happen in time as more new blood join the BBWAA and enter the voting pool, but it won’t be this year for A-Rod.
The most beloved Yankee on the list, Andy Pettitte, got 10.7 percent last year and is entering his fifth year of eligibility. You could argue that his career is worthy of more consideration that that, but he too has PED affiliation dragging him down. Bobby Abreu was at 8.6 percent last year in his fourth year on the ballot. At those percentages, both may stick around on the ballot for a couple years longer, but they’re both probably too far back to ever reach the necessary 75 percent.
By far the funniest name on the list from a Yankee perspective is Jacoby Ellsbury. He reached the five years of retirement this year after last playing in 2017, despite the fact that his contract with the Yankees, had he played through it, would’ve expired in 2020, or 2021 with a potential option year. Of course in reality, injuries ended his Yankee career early, before the team released him in 2019, after he had gone over two years without playing a game, and attempted to pull some shenanigans to get try and avoid paying the money left on his contract. At 31.2 career Baseball Reference WAR, he’s unlikely to ever get in.
Beyond those seven, Roger Clemens and Don Mattingly are also up for election on the Contemporary Era veterans committee ballot, which has its own smaller panel of voters. Best of luck to all of the former Yankees up for induction this year!