Kathy Willens/AP file photoYankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has wasted no time in making a big splash in his first major-league season.

Former Giants second baseman Kent among newcomers for Hall of Fame ballot

Former Giants slugger and 2000 NL MVP Jeff Kent, four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, two-time Cy Young winner Tom Glavine and two-time AL MVP Frank Thomas are among 19 newcomers on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, joining steroid-tainted holdovers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Mike Mussina, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez also are among the players eligible to be voted on for the first time by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The 36-player ballot will include Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow and Mike Timlin, the Hall said Tuesday.

Voters are the approximately 600 writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point.

Ballots are due by Dec. 31, and results will be announced Jan. 8.

Players elected along with choices announced Dec. 9 by the expansion era committee will be inducted July 27 at Cooperstown.

Among those on the committee ballot are retired managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre; late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner; and late players’ union head Marvin Miller.

Last year, the BBWAA failed for the first time since 1996 to produce any inductees. Craig Biggio came closest to receiving the necessary 75 percent, falling 39 shy with 388 (68.2 percent).

Making their first appearances on the ballot, Clemens was at 37.6 percent, Bonds at 36.2 and Sosa at 12.5. McGwire received 16.9 percent on his seventh try.MLBSan Francisco Giants

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