Perhaps no one on the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot is more deserving of a first year selection than former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez. An 18-year veteran, Martinez dominated the game during the controversial steroid era and finished his career with three Cy Young Awards; two of which came in Boston. Standing at 5’11, 170 pounds, Martinez wasn’t a daunting presence on the hill, but what the right-hander lacked in stature, he made up for in performance. Martinez was a known workhorse during his time in the majors, finishing his career with over 2,800 innings pitched and averaging 217 frames a season. In what was arguably his best season in the majors, Martinez tossed 13 complete games including 4 shutouts en route to winning the National League Cy Young Award as a member of the Montreal Expos in 1997. From 1997 to 2005, Martinez enjoyed the prime years of his career as a member of both the Expos, Red Sox, and Mets. During that time frame, Martinez’s ERA of 2.47 mirrored his 2.5o FIP in over 1,800 innings pitched. On the mound, Martinez collected over twenty-one hundred punchouts and tossed an astonishing 39 complete games, including 13 shutouts.
While a unanimous vote is extremely unlikely, Pedro’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame truly speaks for itself. During his time in the league, Martinez was one of the best pitchers in the game, and has the hardware to back him up. While the right-hander never tossed a perfect game or no-hitter and doesn’t have the high career win total that BBWA scribes like to see, his performance during a hitter-friendly era is enough to overlook all of that. The only debate surrounding Pedro as a Hall of Famer should be about what hat he’ll don on his plaque.
- The market for free agent starter James Shields has been very quiet so far this winter, but that may change in the coming days. According to a recent report, the veteran right-hander has a 5 year, $110 million deal on the table from an unspecified team. If true, you can almost definitely count the Red Sox out on Shields if you haven’t already. Boston was reluctant to sign Jon Lester past his age 36 season, which means locking up the 33-year old Shields until his age 37 season is unlikely. (James Shields has five-year offer from mystery team, Red Sox unlikely to match it)
- Last season, the Red Sox roster was mainly divided between players past their prime years and those who had yet to reach their prime years. In turn, the team discovered that relying on such a broad group presented host of problems ranging from injuries to under performance. Boston, however, began to regroup during the 2014 trade deadline and aimed to assemble a roster full of players on the incline of their career. (Right balance of player ages give Red Sox better chance in 2015)
- After an offseason’s worth of speculation, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies won’t hook up on a deal for starting pitcher Cole Hamels. According to a weekend report, talks between the two sides ended after the Boston refused to pick up Hamels’ 2019 player option worth $20 million. However, even before the Sox declined to push Hamels’ deal to 6 years, $110 million, many wondered if the team would surrender the prospects needed to complete a trade. Philadelphia will continue to shop the left-hander, and teams like they New York Yankees and San Diego Padres are two possible destinations. (Bad news on Cole Hamels front, Sox out of running for left ace)
- After enduring an injury plagued 2014 season, Shane Victorino appears poised to put his best foot forward in the new year. The veteran outfielder has spent the winter fully recovering from thumb, back, and hamstring ailments that limited him to just 30 games last season. However, with a crowded outfield it won’t be easy for the 34-year old to regain his spot on the every day roster. (Shane Victorino still on target to hit ground running in Fort Myers)
- Tweet of the day: The sports broadcasting world lost one of its greats over the weekend. RIP Stuart Scott.