Ngoepe dealt to Blue Jays

MLB notebook

PITTSBURGH — History-making Pirates second baseman Gift Ngoepe is on the move.

Pittsburgh traded Ngoepe to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. The 27-year-old Ngoepe became the first African-born player in baseball history to reach the major leagues when he debuted on April 26 in a loss to the Chicago Cubs. Ngoepe, who is from South Africa, hit .222 in 28 games for the Pirates while spending the majority of the season at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh also added three players to the 40-man roster, including outfielder Austin Meadows. Considered the top prospect in the organization going into 2017, Meadows hit .250 with four home runs and 36 RBIs for Indianapolis while battling injuries much of the season. Pittsburgh also added pitchers Dario Agrazal and Luis Escobar to the 40-man roster.

Jones, Thome on ballot

NEW YORK — Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel are among 19 first-time candidates on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for baseball’s Hall of Fame.

They are joined by Johan Santana and Chris Carpenter. Also among the newcomers to the 33-man ballot announced Monday are Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Carlos Lee, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Zambrano and Johnny Damon.

Trevor Hoffman, who fell five votes short last year, leads holdovers that include Vladimir Guerrero, Edgar Martinez, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling.

Roy Halladay will not appear on the ballot for another year. The retired pitcher died Nov. 7 at age 40 when a plane he was piloting crashed off Florida. A player who dies less than five full years after retiring is eligible in the next election six months following his death or at the end of the five-year wait after his retirement, whichever comes first. Halladay had been set to be eligible in the ballot sent to voters in late 2018.

About 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24. The BBWAA voted last December to have ballots of individual voters made public for the first time, but the proposal was rejected by the Hall of Fame’s board.

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