Two former Blue Jays players headed to the Hall of Fame, five miss out (for now)

Eric Treuden
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages

On January 24th, 2023, Scott Rolen was named as the only player from this year's ballot to be elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He will join another former Blue Jays player, Fred McGriff, at the Hall of Fame induction in July.

Rolen had a brief stint with the Blue Jays, playing a combined 203 games between 2008 and 2009 before being flipped to the Reds in exchange for a player that went on to become a Blue Jays legend, Edwin Encarnación.

Rolen's Blue Jays career ended with 19 home runs and 93 RBI in 840 plate appearances, good for a .288 batting average and an OPS+ of 114. He continued to be a defensive wizard at the hot corner as well, where he won a whopping eight Gold Gloves over the course of his 17-year career.

It's so exciting that the two players being inducted this year are both former Blue Jays. However, a total of five players who also spent time in Toronto at some point in their playing days, weren't so lucky.

We'll start with Jayson Werth, a weak-hitting outfielder for the Jays who went on to become a star for the Washington Nationals many years down the line. Werth broke into the big leagues in 2002 as a member of the Jays and played a total of 41 contests in Toronto. He hit just two home runs and struck out in just under 32 percent of his plate appearances. He fell off the ballot after not receiving a single vote.

Then there's longtime big leaguer Omar Vizquel, who wrapped up his 24-year career with the Jays in 2012 as a 45-year-old. Heading into this season, he had a decent shot at receiving more consideration than he ultimately got, thanks to his reputation as one of the greatest defensive baseball players in history. However, Vizquel was accused of sexually harrassing a batboy with autism and will never find his way into the Hall, which is exactly what he deserves.

Jeff Kent, arguably the best offensive second baseman in MLB history, tragically fell short in his 10th go-round on the ballot, receiving just 46.5 percent of votes on this year's ballot. He, like Werth, broke into the bigs with Toronto back in 1992 but only played 65 games for the club (with a 105 OPS+) before being traded to the Mets for David Cone.

Next up is R.A. Dickey, one of the most unique players of this generation. He bounced around the bigs for years before magically emerging as an NL Cy Young Award winner for the Mets in 2012. What made Dickey special is that he was one of the last full-time knuckleballers in the game. He made the pitch work better than anyone during his brief but memorable prime years in the majors. Dickey was traded to the Blue Jays in the 2012-2013 offseason and went on to go 49-52 with a 4.05 ERA in 131 appearances for the club, sitting right at a 100 ERA+ along the way. He received just a single vote this year and has fallen off the ballot.

Saving the best for last, crafty left-hander Mark Buehrle has the best shot out of all of these guys to one day make it to Cooperstown (although it is highly improbable that he does). He retired in 2015 as a five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, World Champ and the proud owner of both a no-hitter and a perfect game over the course of his 16-year career. He came over to the Blue Jays in the same offseason Dickey did and went on to go 40-28 with a 3.78 ERA across 97 starts for the club in parts of three seasons. He received 42 votes, good for 11 percent which is just enough to remain on the ballot but nowhere close to what is needed for an election to the Hall (75 percent).

Next. An old friend is joining Vladdy and Yimi García in the WBC. dark