Making a lineup of the best forgotten Red Sox players of all-time

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox - Game 2
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox - Game 2 / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Relief Pitcher: Billy Wagner (2009)

This is by far the toughest decision I've had to make for this team, but I am going to take the guy that may end up in Cooperstown next year: Billy Wagner. It's hard to go wrong with a member of the 400 save club as the key relief option for this team (shoutout Kenley Jansen), even if you realize for the first time that Wagner was ever a member of the Red Sox.

Wagner made 15 appearances for the Red Sox in 2009, posting an ERA+ of 241(!) in this stretch, working as a setup option with Daniel Bard for Jonathan Papelbon at the back end of the bullpen (I can't believe I've just written those names in 2023). Wagner will almost certainly go into Cooperstown as a Houston Astro, but his one year with the Red Sox will forever stand out on his plaque.

Honorable Mentions: The reason that this was a difficult choice was because it means I had to pass up, at one time, the most dominant reliever in the Majors in Eric Gagne. Gagne's 84 consecutive saves will hold as an MLB record for generations, but when comparing the two careers, I'll take Wagner's 16 consistent years over Gagne's short peak for my team.

Creating a team of the best forgotten Red Sox players of all-time

C: A.J. Pierzynski, 1B: Tony Perez, 2B: Brandon Phillips, 3B: Adrian Beltre, SS: Edgar Renteria, OF: Rickey Henderson, Kevin Mitchell, Grady Sizemore, SP: John Smoltz, RP: Billy Wagner

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