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Clemens, Carpenter top 7 Blue Jays on HOF ballot

MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have seven former players on the ballot for possible entry into next year's Baseball Hall of Fame class.

The 2018 ballot was released on Monday afternoon and it includes former Toronto RHP Chris Carpenter, RHP Roger Clemens, 2B Orlando Hudson, 2B Jeff Kent, 1B Fred McGriff , 3B Scott Rolen and SS Omar Vizquel.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have seven former players on the ballot for possible entry into next year's Baseball Hall of Fame class.

The 2018 ballot was released on Monday afternoon and it includes former Toronto RHP Chris Carpenter, RHP Roger Clemens, 2B Orlando Hudson, 2B Jeff Kent, 1B Fred McGriff , 3B Scott Rolen and SS Omar Vizquel.

The official induction announcement will take place at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 24 and will be made available on MLB Network and MLB.com. The Hall of Fame weeekend is then set for Cooperstown, N.Y., next summer, with the official ceremony on July 29.

None of the players in next year's class are really representative of the Blue Jays, but that will change in 2019 when Roy Halladay is eligible for the first time. Halladay is considered a favorite to gain entry into the Hall, and prior to his tragic death, the former top Draft pick was on record stating he wanted to go in wearing a Toronto cap.

Clemens won a pair of Cy Young Awards for the Blue Jays in 1997-98, but those were the only two years he spent with the organization. This is his sixth time on the ballot, and his vote total has continued to increase each year. But last year, Clemens was named on just 54.1 percent of the ballots, well short of the required 75 percent to gain entry.

Carpenter is eligible for the first time after a career which saw him go 144-94 with a 3.76 ERA. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1993 and went on to spend parts of six seasons with the ballclub, but he'll be remembered most for his time with the Cardinals. Carpenter made three All-Star teams and went to the postseason five times during his time in St. Louis.

McGriff spent only five seasons with the Blue Jays, but it felt like a lot longer than that. He was Toronto's starting first baseman in 1990 before he was dealt alongside infielder Tony Fernandez in a blockbuster deal with the Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. McGriff went on to appear with six organizations and came within 510 hits of reaching 3,000.

Video: MIL@TOR: McGriff hits first homer in SkyDome history

Hudson was a 33rd-round pick of the Blue Jays in 1996. He spent parts of four seasons with the big league club before eventually getting traded to the D-backs. Kent, who is on the ballot for the fifth time and appeared on 16.7 percent of the ballots last year, appeared in one season for the Blue Jays, while Rolen appeared in parts of two.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto Blue Jays