The Red Sox have been arguably the best team of this decade. But how did they get there?
The Red Sox have been willing to pull the trigger on many trades and take a risky signing.
You probably won't agree with all my choices, and this article is in chronological order. If you think that I left a transaction off, just leave a comment with the transaction in it and I'll add it.
If you want to read the second part of my two part series, the links here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/215529-twenty-worst-boston-red-sox-transactions-of-the-last-15-years
A special thanks to Joel Reuter, who inspired me to write this article.
From 1996-2003, Nomah (as we New Englanders like to call him) was the best player for the Red Sox. His selection in the draft was the first step to the trade that won the Red Sox World Series title in 2004.
Tim Wakefield has been a staple in the Red Sox pitching staff since 1995. He finally made the All-Star team this season. And to think, Tim Wakefield was out of baseball in 1994 after being told by some scout that he didn't throw hard enough.
Wake had a session with the Niekro brothers, and since then has been on the Red Sox roster.
Jason Varitek has been instrumental in helping the pitching staff on the Sox, and Derek Lowe was one of the best pitchers for the Red Sox in 2004. He also had a no—hitter in 2002.
Pedro was probably one of the best pitchers ever for the Red Sox. He helped the Sox in about 75 percent of the starts he made. At my first Red Sox game, Pedro was pitching. Pedro was an icon in Boston. And to think, all it cost was Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, Jr.
Despite hating Boston towards the end of his eight—year contract, Ramirez was still a great outfielder, and the Red Sox wouldn't have won the 2004 World Series without him.
The 2000 MLB draft saw the Red Sox draft three players who have spent extended time in the majors. The BoSox selected Manny Delcarmen in the second round, Freddy Sanchez in the 11th round, and Kason Gabbard in the 29th round.
Duchscherer is a good pitcher with the Oakland Athletics, but some of the credit for Tim Wakefield's success in Boston has to be given to his favorite catcher in Doug Mirabelli.
Mirabelli was so important to Boston, that the Red Sox had him airlifted via helicopter from Logan Aiport to Fenway Park minutes before a game against the Yankees just hours after being acquired from the San Diego Padres who acquired him in a trade from the Red Sox who recieved Mark Loretta in return.
Jon Lester is a good pitcher for the Red Sox. He was selected in second round of the 2002 Draft. The Red Sox also drafted Chris Smith in the fourth, and Brandon Moss in the eighth.
Todd Walker spent just two seasons with the Red Sox (Both Duquette and Epstein should've signed him until Pedroia was ready) but the fact that the Sox could get a player of Walker's caliber for two players to be named later is unreal.
Timlin spent a lot of time with the Red Sox. Five seasons. In the free agency era, that's like forever, espcially for a reliever. Timlin was a reliable arm out of the bullpen from 2003 to 2008.
Kevin Millar may not have had the offensive stats, but he kept the Red Sox's clubhouse loose from 2003 to 2005. I believe that he was a vital member of the Red Sox's 2004 title run.
Despite Kim not doing anything for the Red Sox, and Shea slowly falling into obscurity after leaving the Red Sox, this trade was a prelude to a bigger, more important trade with the D-Backs.
Papelbon has recently just passed Bob Stanley's Red Sox record for most saves. Paps can only go up from here. And he won't sign with the Yankees.
Curt Schilling was probably the biggest reason why the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. Schilling won 21 games, and made an All-Star appearance. And who could forget that bloody sock?
Dustin Pedroia has been a Rookie of the Year and an MVP. Pedroia is a gamer, and plays way bigger than his 5'8" frame. This transaction was an easy choice for this list.
Doug Mientkiewicz (pictured) helped shore up the Sox defense. Orlando was an offensive and defensive power and should've been resigned. The Red Sox gave up the iconic Nomar, but without this trade the Red Sox likely wouldn't have won the World Series in 2004.
The 2005 draft, often labeled the best ever, saw the Red Sox get five players in the first round, and all but one is still somewhere in the organization. In the first round, the Red Sox selected Jed Lowrie, Craig Hansen, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Michael Bowden.
The jury's still out on this one, but Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett were integral parts of the 2007 World Series team. Only Sanchez and Ramirez have gone on to spend time with the Marlins at the Major League level. Through all this, Hanley is a perennial All-Star and the Marlins' best player.
David Wells has been a good pitcher for a long time, but what's really important to the Red Sox is catching depth, especialy right now. George Kottaras can't hit very well, but he can catch the knuckelball, and that's great because Tim Wakefield is the third pitcher in your rotation.
Probably very few of you will agree with this as a good trade for the Red Sox.
Jason Bay was the leading All—Star vote—getter for AL outfielders. And rightfully so. Bay is a great leftfielder, a good hitter to all fields, and a great defender. Bay is, in my opinion, a much better player than Manny Ramirez.