Your top “almost-a-Red-Sox”

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
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Jul 19, 2005
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Thought this might be a fun/infuriating discussion for the off day: who is a player who you always hoped would one day play Red Sox but never did? For me, it was Carlos Beltran. I remember there was a stretch where he’d reach free agency every 2-3 years, and the Red Sox would have a lot of reported interest that would then go nowhere.

I know it’s tough to direct how these conversations go, but I want to be clear that I’m talking about players who never actually played in Boston (ie let’s not relitigate the Mookie/Lester/whoever departures). And also, while it’s easy to say “I really wanted them to get Mike Trout!” that doesn’t make for a very interesting conversation, so let’s try to keep to players who were actually available at one point.

Other than that, who did you always want to see in Boston? Were you in the Giancarlo Stanton crowd? Were you angry when Albert Belle went to Baltimore? Are you still holding out hope for Felix Hernandez or Joe Mauer to come out of retirement? Should Rollie Fingers count for this discussion? Is there someone from further back who I don’t remember?
 

Buster Olney the Lonely

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Bernie Williams in 1998. If you believe the reports he was all but headed to Boston and then Stick Michael convinced Steinbrenner to keep him. The Yankee fans can correct me if I'm wrong.

The Sox had mediocre at best CF play for most of the 1990s--Lee Tinsley, Billy Hatcher, Darren Bragg--so he filled a need. And I always enjoyed watching Bernie play and felt losing him would have dealt a big blow to that Yankees dynasty.
 

cantor44

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I believe the Sox were outbid for Abreu ... (and so then overcompensated by opening the spigot for Rusney Castillo). Anyway, Abreu would have been real nice.
 

Brianish

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Weren't we a close second for Jose Abreu's services?

Edit - Whup, beaten to it.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Also lost the bidding war for El Duque if I recall correctly.
And that other Cuban pitcher... Jose something.

Contreras. I guess it doesn't count if they were bad.

edit: He wasn't as bad as I remember him being, actually. I remember him as a Yankee though.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Legend is that Theo Epstein smashed a hotel chair after thinking they had Edgardo Alfonzo in the bag, only to have him go to San Fran.

Bullet dodged, he would put up 2.1 WAR over the 4 contract the Giants signed him too and never played in MLB after that.
 

changer591

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While this isn't really on the topic of the thread, back when I used to play Fantasy Baseball religiously, there were always some much less heralded players that I wanted on the Red Sox that eventually had cups of coffee with the team. The list includes such stars as Sean Casey, Byung-Hung Kim, and even Julio Lugo.
Two players that I did wish the Sox got that they were rumored for back in the day were Chan Ho Park (I'm partial to Asian baseball players since I'm Chinese American) and Felix Hernandez.
 

changer591

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Legend is that Theo Epstein smashed a hotel chair after thinking they had Edgardo Alfonzo in the bag, only to have him go to San Fran.

Bullet dodged, he would put up 2.1 WAR over the 4 contract the Giants signed him too and never played in MLB after that.
I thought this story was for Jose Contreras.
 

E5 Yaz

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I did to at first but I'm pretty sure it was Alfonzo.

Edit: And it was Contreras. http://www.espn.com/mlb/columns/klapisch_bob/1482819.html
And the Courant says it was for Alfonzo

Later that evening, Epstein was close to signing his first marquee free agent when third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo accepted a four-year contract from the Giants. Epstein simultaneously lost his first bidding war and temper, resulting in a chair getting smashed.
https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2002-12-18-0212181026-story.html
 

changer591

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RIrooter09

Alvin
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I always thought the chair story was Contreras too, and then the Yankees released some douche-tastic statement about going the extra mile for their fans.
 

Brianish

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I remember the "extra mile" thing being about Teixiera, but it's all a jumble at this point.
 

Marbleheader

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The answer has to be Willie Mays, right?

I was pretty pissed they took Trey Ball over Austin Meadows.
 
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bsj

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Not withstanding some of the unfortunate things he did later in his life, I remember being a big fan of Kirby Puckett at the time he was very close to signing here in 1991. I think he had an agreement in principle and at the last minute gave the Twins a last chance to match and they did

EDIT - I see @Ferm Sheller beat me to it :)
 

Remagellan

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The answer has to be Willie Mays, right?

This was my thought as well. The idea that we could have had another star who is a legitimate answer to the question of "who is the greatest player ever?" and that him joining the team when he would have would have saved the franchise from the shame of being the last team to integrate is a tough combo to beat.
 

E5 Yaz

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Of course, there's al so the infamous "tryout" the Red Sox gave Jackie Robinson.
 

amRadio

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Johan Santana.

I will always think that if the Twins pulled the trigger on Ellsbury+ for Santana in the offseason after the 2007 championship, the Sox repeat as champions in 2008. Ultimately the Sox were willing to part with Ellsbury but the Twins wanted Ellsbury and Lester, so to the Mets he went.

That opening paragraph of that piece I linked by Amalie Benjamin and Nick Cafardo is fun to look back on these years later.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Was there noise around a trade (or signing) involving Realmuto, or am I just imagining that?

There was a lot of debate about whether the Red Sox should sign Mike Mussina or Manny Ramirez as well, which is an interesting “what if”. Maybe we trade for Magglio Ordonez instead of Curt Schilling after 2003 in that universe.

Pretty sure we were close to acquiring Cole Hamels like seven different years in a row.

Who knows. We might finally do it this year.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Who was the Expos pitcher who also played on the Yankees and Braves who was always rumored to be coming to Boston? He had great K/bb rates. Dominican. He was pretty meh on the Yankees but good elsewhere.

edit: Javier Vazquez.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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And I don't know if he counts because technically he was here. He just never actually played for the Boston Redsox, but there was a big push for Carl Pavano. Disaster avoided.
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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Kevin Appier
Between the non-deal during the '94-'95 strike, then trade rumblings in '95 (wishful hindsight: Sox don't get swept in the ALDS with Appier on the hill once), the Appier-for-Lowe rumors in '98, spring training whispers, and a near-deal in '99 . . . Kevin Appier was nearly a Red Sox for 5 years. I don't know if any player has ever been so closely connected to another team for as long as Appier was to the Sox.

Speaking of the '95 team, I wish they'd landed Marquis Grissom. May not have had his best year that year, but loved watching him with Atlanta on TBS and had a soft spot for the braves cadre of looks-like-he's-60-years-old players.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Between the non-deal during the '94-'95 strike, then trade rumblings in '95 (wishful hindsight: Sox don't get swept in the ALDS with Appier on the hill once), the Appier-for-Lowe rumors in '98, spring training whispers, and a near-deal in '99 . . . Kevin Appier was nearly a Red Sox for 5 years. I don't know if any player has ever been so closely connected to another team for as long as Appier was to the Sox.

Speaking of the '95 team, I wish they'd landed Marquis Grissom. May not have had his best year that year, but loved watching him with Atlanta on TBS and had a soft spot for the braves cadre of looks-like-he's-60-years-old players.
I loved a lot of the Expos players in the 90s. It's too bad they couldn't afford to keep their talent. They would have been loaded. Felipe Alou brought in a ton of talent to the game. Or at least that's what I was lead to believe.

For that matter, does it have to a be a player? There was a big push to bring Felipe Alou and Billy Beane to Boston.
 

BornToRun

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I loved a lot of the Expos players in the 90s. It's too bad they couldn't afford to keep their talent. They would have been loaded. Felipe Alou brought in a ton of talent to the game. Or at least that's what I was lead to believe.

For that matter, does it have to a be a player? There was a big push to bring Felipe Alou and Billy Beane to Boston.
I mean Billy Beane took the job before changing his mind. Definitely counts in my book.