Two former Phillies are on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year. Outfielders Bobby Abreu and Raul Ibanez and pitcher Cliff Lee are among the former Phillies on the ballot. While the trio are making their first appearance, three other former Phillies – Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling and Billy Wagner – are holdovers who again appear on the ballot this year.
Lee pitched for the Phillies for part of the 2009 season after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians, and then returned as a free agent, signing with the Phillies in December of 2010. He would finish his career in Philadelphia after pitching four seasons.
As a Phillie, Lee was 48-34 with a 2.94 ERA in 118 starts. As a major leaguer – he also pitched for Cleveland, Seattle and Texas – he finished his career with a mark of 143-91 with a 3.52 ERA in 328 major league games, 324 of which were starts. He finished with 1,824 strikeouts or 7.6 per nine innings.
Ibanez spent 19 seasons in the majors, three of which were with the Phillies. In over 2,100 games, he produced a line of 305-1207-.272/.335/.465 with Seattle, Philadelphia, the Yankees, Angels and Kansas City. In his three seasons in Philadelphia (2009-2011), he hit 70-260-.264/.329/.469 after signing with the Phillies as a free agent in December, 2008. After playing out his three-year deal, he signed with the Yankees as a free agent.
Overall, Ibanez played both corner outfield positions and also played 144 games as a first baseman during his career. He posted above league average fielding percentages as an outfielder and had 90 outfield assists. Over the past couple of offseasons, Ibanez has been mentioned as a potential managerial candidate for a few positions, but so far, has not chosen to interview for any open spots.
Abreu started his career with Houston before being selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Expansion Draft following the 1997 season. The Phillies sent infielder Kevin Stocker to Tampa Bay in exchange for Abreu following the draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder played eight full seasons with the Phillies before being dealt to the Yankees on July 30, 2006 along with pitcher Cory Lidle for C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez, Carlos Monasterios and Matt Smith. Neither Henry nor Sanchez ever played in the majors, while Monasterios pitched for part of the 2010 season with the Dodgers. Smith pitched in 23 games in relief for the Phillies over two seasons with a 4.97 ERA.
Spending most of his career with Philadelphia, Abreu hit 195-814-.303/.416/.513 with the Phillies and twice played in all 162 games with the team. Twice during his career – both times with the Phillies – Abreu reached the 30/30 club with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season and he finished his career with 400 stolen bases.
Defensively, Abreu was known for having a powerful arm and he threw out 136 runners in his 18 seasons in the majors. He also put up above average fielding percentages in the outfield, as well.
Abreu was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame last August.
Abreu may get some consideration for the Hall of Fame, although he certainly won’t be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and Lee may also eventually receive some consideration. Ibanez isn’t a serious candidate for a spot in the Hall.
In last year’s balloting, Schilling received votes on 60.9-percent of the ballots, Rolen received votes on 17.2-percent and Wagner had 16.7-percent. Players must receive votes on 75-percent of the ballots to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Players who do not receive votes on at least five-percent of the Hall of Fame ballots are dropped from consideration in future years. Last year, former Phillies Placido Polanco, Roy Oswalt and Michael Young all fell below the threshold and were dropped from consideration.
Other first-timers on this year’s ballot include Eric Chavez, Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko and Alfonso Soriano. Todd Helton is in his tenth and final year of eligibility on the ballot.