Hall of Fame Candidates Looking For Work

Johnny Damon: Looking for work again.

 Johnny Damon is looking for work again with less than two weeks  left, before the position players are required to report for spring training.

The Yankees apparently have no plans to sign Damon, as they seem to be focused on signing Raul Ibanez as their DH. Damon only needs 267 hits to reach the coveted 3,000 hits mark, but so far he is unsigned this offseason. He is only 38 and won’t be 39 until after the season is over.

Damon still has not lost his speed, having 42 stolen bases, while being caught only 7 times in those 49 attempts over the last three years. He has made over 600 plate appearances, in every season since 1997, which is a streak of 14 years.

It will be interesting to see if Damon’s asking price is too much. If that is the problem he needs to reduce his demands or risk losing his chance to enter the Hall of Fame.

He needs two seasons to reach 3,000 hits, but right now it is not looking good for even one more season.

Vladimir Guerrero seems to be nearing the end of a possible Hall of Fame career.

Vladimir Guerrero,  37, is another potential Hall of Fame candidate, who has no team in the waning days of the offseason. His power number dropped alarmingly in his 2011 season with the Orioles. His home runs fell from 29 to 13 and his RBI total 115 in 2010 dropped to 63 in 2011. Guerrero who has hit well over .300 for most of his career, has been hovering near the .300 mark,  in the last four seasons starting in 2007 with seasons of .303, .295, .300 and .290. There is almost no chance of him reaching the 3,000 hit plateau, since he still needs 410 more hits and that would take at least three seasons to reach that goal.

The salary of Guerrero has also been dropping from the $15 million being paid by the Angels in 2009, to $5.5 million by the Rangers in 2010, but did receive $7.6 million from the Orioles in 2011. He is probably receiving even lower offers this offseason. Guerrero may have to decide if he wants to take less and improve his numbers, or hang it up and walk away from the game with the numbers he has already posted.

Ivan Rodriguez needs 156 hits to post a 3,000 hit career, but may remain unsigned this season.
Ivan Rodriguez has almost no chance of reaching the 3,000 hit mark since he has had only 133 hits, over the last two seasons so is likely to fall short of the 156 hits needed to reach the milestone.  His days of being an everyday catcher are apparently over. Rodriguez posted 2,844 hits, which is the most of any player in history of major leagues, who played most of their games as a catcher.
He also has the steroids stigma to contend with, which could prevent him from entering the Hall of Fame in the near future. However he may be best defensive catcher in history. Falling short of 3,000 hits doesn’t hold as much weight for a catcher, considering they miss at least one game a week.
Rodriguez probably only played the last two seasons, because he accepted $3 million contracts in each of those two years. He played for even less for $1.5 million for the Astros in 2009. So he will play for less money, but wonder if he will be willing to play for less money again in 2012.
Other Players Looking For Work in 2012
Derrek Lee, surprisingly is still looking for a team to play for in 2012. Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez are both reportedly being looked at by the Yankees, but still no deal as of this minute. Shortstops Edgar Renteria and Miguel Tejada are shortstops looking for work. Manny Ramirez may possibly sign with the Athletics, in the next few days. J.D Drew  and Hideki Matsui are outfielders that are still unsigned.Magglio Ordonez isthe last well-known position player in search of a job.

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