Ken Griffey Jr. hit one last home run Wednesday.
The Kid fell just three votes shy of a unanimous selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, garnering 437 votes from a total of 440 voters. The 99.3 percent is the highest plurality in the history of the vote. The previous high was Tom Seaver, who received 98.8 percent approval in 1992.
In his 22-year career, Griffey blasted 630 home runs with 1,836 RBI and 1,662 runs scored. He also stole 184 bases while batting .284/.370/.538 over his career. He was a 13-time All-Star selection while winning 10 Gold Gloves and being named American League MVP in 1997.
Griffey, while taking the headlines, shared the day with Mike Piazza, who also received more than enough votes to enter the Hall. Piazza received 365 votes, or 83 percent, in his fourth year on the ballot.
"Incredibly special. Wow," Piazza said on a call with MLB Network. "I sat here with my mouth on the floor."
Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 with 427 homers, 1,335 RBI and 1,048 runs scored in 16 MLB seasons. He was named National League Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was named to the All-Star team 12 times. Piazza never won an MVP award but finished in the top-10 in voting seven times, including two runner-up finishes.
No other former players received enough votes to hit the 75 percent threshold required for Hall entrance. Jeff Bagwell (71.6 percent), Tim Raines (69.8) and Trevor Hoffman (67.3) were the closest, and only those three and Curt Schilling (52.3) were checked on more than 50 percent of the ballots.
Falling off the list next year will be Alan Trammell, who garnered just 40.9 percent of the vote in his 15th season on the ballot, and Mark McGwire, who received just 54 votes in his 10th and final year. A number of first-time candidates will also be removed from next year's ballot after failing to hit the 5 percent threshold, headlined by Jim Edmonds.
Gordon Re-Ups With Royals
Alex Gordon said his heart has always been in Kansas City. Now, the rest of Gordon will be for the foreseeable future, too.
Gordon and the Royals agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract Wednesday, keeping the All-Star outfielder in KC until 2019. The deal includes a $23 million mutual option for the 2020 season.
Gordon said the opportunity to stay with the Royals, the team that drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2005, "means a lot to me."
"At the end of the day, my heart has been and I think always will be in Kansas City," he said.
Gordon was a key piece in the Royals' run to the World Series in 2014 and started every game en route to their World Series title last October. He's a three-time All-Star and has won four Gold Glove awards for his defense in left field.
At points this offseason it appeared that Gordon and the Royals might not be able to find a middle ground -- MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported at one point that Gordon's representation told the club they had "no chance" to re-sign him -- but talks picked up steam in recent days. The 31-year-old had interest from other teams, notably the White Sox, before returning to the Royals.
Ozuna On The Move?
After months of talk, Marcell Ozuna could soon have a new address.
Ozuna has been rumored to be on the trading block all winter after seeming to fall out of favor in Miami, and the Rangers on Wednesday were reported to be discussing an Ozuna-for-Chi Chi Gonzalez deal with the Marlins.
Despite the rumors, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported the talks, which have been "on and off for the past month, have yet to significantly advance." Earlier in the day, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports said the Fish have discussed Ozuna with multiple teams, including an unnamed team on the West Coast.
Ozuna's fall from grace with the Marlins has been a puzzling one. The 25-year-old batted .269/.317/.455 with 23 homers and 85 RBI in a breakout 2014 season, and last year he put up a less impressive but passable .259/.308/.383 line with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 123 games.
The lowest point came in early July, when the Marlins demoted Ozuna to Triple-A. To prove that he hadn't lost his offensive touch, Ozuna hit .317/.379/.558 in 33 games before being recalled in mid-August.
Even so, the team appears intent on dealing him, and there has been no shortage of reported suitors this winter. Even if nothing is imminent, it sounds as though Ozuna will be with a new team -- somewhere -- by spring.
Quick Hits: The Brewers took a low-risk flyer on a boom-or-bust slugger, signing Chris Carter to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Carter has hit 90 home runs over the past three seasons but owns a career .217/.312/.452 line overall ... Along with, or perhaps instead of, their interest in Ozuna, the Rangers also have interest in free agent Justin Upton, per Rosenthal. The rub is that the team is only interested in Upton if it's on a one-year deal, something the first-time free agent isn't likely to be keen to ... The Pirates, known for their ability to revive pitchers' careers, signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $3.9 million contract. Given Feliz's ability and the track record of pitching coach Ray Searage, the right-hander could prove to be a valuable member of the Bucs' bullpen in 2016 ... The Royals, fresh off the Gordon contract, have "strong interest" in free agent Ian Kennedy, per Heyman. The Royals would have to forfeit their first-round pick to sign Kennedy, but they draft late in the first round anyway and may see their window as starting to close, justifying a more near-sighted approach ... Denard Span could be the next free agent outfielder off the board, as MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo said he expects Span to sign with a team "very soon." Span played in just 61 games this past season but is recovering from a torn labrum in his hip and is said to be ready to work out for teams. Which teams are serious contenders is still uncertain at this point ... Speaking of players coming back from hip injuries, Tim Lincecum plans to hold a showcase in late January or early February for interested clubs. Lincecum is returning from September surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and may have to prove his health (and effectiveness) with a one-year deal ... The Nationals made official the signings of Daniel Murphy and Stephen Drew on Wednesday. Murphy was inked to a three-year, $37.5 million deal, while Drew signed a more modest one-year contract for $3 million ... The Dodgers re-signed Brandon Beachy to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Beachy has thrown just eight innings since late in the 2013 season, but the Dodgers are holding out hope for a return to form of sorts ... Kelly Johnson, dealt from the Braves to the Mets during the 2015 season, returned to the Braves on a one-year deal, per reports. The agreement is reportedly worth $2 million.