He’s another first-timer that I didn’t think was worthy of the Hall of Fame before looking at his stats but I believe he is.
He has a career WAR of 59.1 and he was a 5-time All-Star and 4-time Gold Glove winner. He only ranked in Cy Young voting once (fifth in 2005, when he and the White Sox won the World Series).
He didn’t post numbers that were off the charts but he was remarkably consistent. He was mainly a reliever in his first season in the majors (2000) but for the rest of his career (2001-2015), he won between 12 and 19 games, made between 31 and 35 starts, and either led the league or was very close to leading in innings pitched.
In fact, between 2001 and 2015, he only had one season that he didn’t pitch 200 innings or more (he pitched an astounding 260 innings in 2005 between the regular season and postseason). That season was his last (2015) … and he pitched 198 1/3 innings.
He had nine seasons where he had an ERA+ of 120 or better as well.
Again, not a slam dunk but, as of now, his consistency looks like it will get him at least a second time on the ballot.