The Red Sox, a team that is already top five in Hall of Famers in MLB history, looks to add more members to their ranks in the upcoming class. They have seven former players up for the exclusive club, most with a real shot at making it. Here are all players who have played at least one season with the Sox, ranked by the probability of joining their fellow legends.
1. Curt Schilling
Career Stats: 3.46 ERA, 60% Win-Loss, 1.137 WHIP, 3,116 Strikeouts
Notable Accolades: 6x All-Star, 3x World Series Champion
Curt is the most likely candidate to make it after getting 60% of the vote last year, failing to reach the required 75%. Unfortunately, when he does make it in, odds are it’s as a Philadelphia Phillie. He joined Boston in 2004 when he was traded for basically nothing. Curt was coming off three great years with Arizona, in which he was an All-Star twice.
Schilling started off strong with his new team, once again getting named an All-Star in 2004. He even finished as the runner-up in the Cy Young award race. But his most memorable work came in the postseason. Schilling allowed only one run on four hits in Game 6 against the New York Yankees in the ALCS while playing on a very badly injured ankle. It was so bad that by the end of the game blood was soaked into most of his white sock.
The following year had him limited due to repeat injuries to his ankles, so when he returned he spent most of his time as Boston’s closer. He struggled the whole season, with the team losing in the divisional round of the playoffs. In 2006, a healthy Schilling started off very well, winning his first four games with a 1.61 ERA. Unfortunately he couldn’t continue that spectacular play and the 38-year-old finished the year 15–7 with a 3.97 ERA. He decided to play one more season with the Sox, putting off his retirement.
While he had a similar regular season, Schilling once again flaunted his playoff power in 2007. In the divisional round verse the Angels he allowed only six hits while shutting them out in his seven innings. But he struggled against the Cleveland Indians Game 2, letting up five runs in four innings in the 13-6 loss. But luckily he rebounded, and in Game 6 he recorded five strikeouts, zero walks, and just two earned runs in a crucial victory.
After the Sox went on to win the World Series Schilling filed for free agency, as he wished to continue his career. But after multiple shoulder and bicep issues he called his historic career to a close. While his time in Boston was brief and during the regression stage of his career, his time here was possibly his most successful.
2. Roger Clemens
Career Stats: 3.12 ERA, 66% Win-Loss, 1.173 WHIP, 4,672 Strikeouts
Notable Accolades: MVP, 7x Cy Young, 2x Triple Crown, 11x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion
If Clemens wasn’t embroiled in a PED scandal, then he would be in the Hall already. He had a better career than Schilling, and would probably be going into the Hall as a Red Sox. He was first drafted by the Mets in 1981 in the 12th round but remained patient, and two years later was selected by the Red Sox 19th overall.
Clemens quickly rose through the minors, making his Red Sox debut in 1984. His career was almost cut short before even playing three seasons, as he had an undiagnosed torn labrum. Luckily he would undergo surgery and the ensuing rehab went smoothly. In 1986, a fully healthy Roger helped guide the Red Sox to the World Series. He even won the American League MVP award at the age of 23. He also won the first of his many Cy Young Awards.
Clemens would win the Cy Young two more times with the Red Sox, but never succeed at winning the World Series with Boston. Clemens also accomplished the 20-strikeout feat twice while in Boston, the only player ever to do so. Clemens is in a tie for the Red Sox franchise record in wins with 192, and also has the most strikeouts of a Red Sox player with 2,590.
3. Manny Ramirez
Career Stats: .312 Batting Average, 555 Homeruns, 1,831 RBI’s
Notable Accolades: 12x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, 9x Silver Slugger, 2002 AL Batting Title
Manny, like Clemens, remains out of the Hall because of PED use. He will probably be in the Hall of Fame as a Red Sox player, but there is a very small chance he could also go as an Indian. He spent his first eight years with the Indians, then the next eight years with the Sox. With the Red Sox, he was more successful and acquired his two championships.
In the 2000 offseason, Ramirez agreed to an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox initially did not have a good team to support his superstardom, not qualifying for the postseason in 2001 for the second year in a row. Ramirez spent the season as the DH, as manager Jimy Williams didn’t think he fit in the current outfield.
The following year they once again failed to qualify for the playoffs. Despite only playing 120 games that year, Manny won the AL batting title while hitting .349 and 33 HR. He continued that play into 2003, where the Red Sox finally made the playoffs. Throughout many controversies, he played excellently over the next few years, including crucial performances in both the 2004 and 2007 World Series victories.
He wanted to finish his career with the Sox, but his attitude became too much to handle. He got in a fight with a teammate, a team official, and lacked effort and urgency. He was shipped away in a three-team trade in July 2008 and remained a pretty good hitter for the next couple of years.
4. Billy Wagner
Career Stats: 2.31 ERA, 422 saves, .998 WHIP, 1,196 Strikeouts
Notable Accolades: 7x All-Star, 1999 Reliever of the Year
Wagner only played one year in Boston, meaning he won’t be going in the Hall as a Red Sox player. He will be going in as an Astro, having played for them for nine years. He also played for the Mets for four years, Phillies for two years, and Atlanta for one. He came to Boston off a trade that sent basically nothing back in return.
In both of the two prior seasons Billy was named an All-Star. He came to a Boston team that looked to add a piece to put them into contention. Unfortunately Billy was not enough, and the 95-win Sox lost in the divisional round to the Angels.
Wagner’s contract ended in the offseason, and the Red Sox did offer arbitration, but he declined. The Red Sox received a first-round pick from the Braves when they signed him in 2010 free agency. He would go on to get his seventh All-Star selection in his final season.
5. Josh Beckett
Career Stats: 3.88 ERA, 57% Win-Loss, 1.232 WHIP, 1,901 Strikeouts
Notable Accolades: 3x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion
Beckett spent the majority of his career with Boston, but spent his first five years with the Marlins. He was traded to Boston in 2006 with Mike Lowell for multiple prospects like Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. Beckett was on the verge of breaking out while in Florida, and the Red Sox believed that they could put him over the edge.
Beckett completed his first season with the Red Sox with a record of 16–11, but with a measly 5.01 ERA. He also allowed 36 home runs, which was tied for second-most in the majors. But with the help of pitching coaches he altered his style of pitching to have fewer fastballs and more breaking balls. He also improved his accuracy while maintaining a similar speed on pitches.
This reduced his walks and home runs by almost half, which contributed to his 20 wins and 3.27 ERA. He was even named an All-Star for the first time, while being the runner-up for the Cy Young award. He was arguably the most valuable piece on that team, and was instrumental in the World Series win that season.
That season, at age 27, was the peak of his career. He remained relatively inconsistent, having bad years interchanging every All-Star season. So the Sox, who were paying him $17 million a year, eventually got tired of the inconsistency and traded him once his value was near his peak. He was moved to the Dodgers, where he failed to reach another All-Star game
6. Carlos Pena
Career Stats: .232 Batting Average, 286 Homeruns, 818 RBI’s
Notable Accolades: 1x All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger
There is a very good chance Pena never gets into the HOF. Even if he does, it will be as a Ray or Tiger. He played a total of 18 games as a member of the Red Sox, barely affecting the game at all. He opted for free agency after the season and signed a minor league contract with the Rays.
7. Brad Penny
Career Stats: 4.29 ERA, 55% Win-Loss, 1.376 WHIP, 1,273 Strikeouts
Notable Accolades: 2x All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion
Penny, like Pena, will probably never make it into the Hall. He also only spent one year in Boston, meaning even if he made it, it wouldn’t be for Boston. He started 24 games in Boston, with a losing record and a 5.61 ERA. After Tim Wakefield returned from injury, and fellow Hall of Fame nominee Billy Wagner joining the roster, the Red Sox released him as he refused to become a reliever. Shortly after he signed with the Giants, where he recovered his form and remained solid for the next two years.