I have one rule for players who were caught or admitted to using PEDs: they have to be inner-circle guys. Steroids may make you a better player, but only to a certain degree. But nothing short of Captain America’s super soldier serum will make a player an inner circle Hall of Famer. That’s why I am including Alex Rodriguez on this mock ballot.
A-Rod is an inner circle Hall of Famer. He batted .295/.380/.550 with a 140 OPS+. That’s already Hall of Fame worthy. He reached the 3000 hit mark and fell just four home runs shy of 700. He was a speed demon in his prime and swiped 329 bags throughout his entire career. Rodriguez drove in 2000 runs, something only five MLB players have ever accomplished in their career.
Rodriguez racked up +10.4 defensive WAR. He was a good defensive shortstop and third baseman. It would have been insane to see what his career WAR would have been had he stuck at shortstop longer than he did. Of course, he shifted over to the hot corner because nobody was de-throning Derek Jeter at shortstop. Rodriguez ended his career with +117.5 bWAR, the 20th most of any MLB player ever, but he probably could have reached +120 if he stuck at third longer.
Alex Rodriguez is not a saint and he’s not my favorite player. But he’s an inner circle Hall of Famer, steroids or no steroids. I doubt he was taking the same drugs that made Steve Rogers Captain America. Even if you take away a third of his couting/cumulative stats, you get a player with over 2000 hits, 460 home runs, 1300 runs batted in, and a bWAR approaching +80.