Papelbon has won a World Series with the Sox and he reached the 200-save threshold faster than any pitcher in history. In 396 games with the Red Sox from 2005 through 2011, he saved 219 games out of 248 opportunities.
I’m not sure what to make of this yet. The team was apparently very close to re-signing Ryan Madson for the same duration, but for less money, but the deal completely fell through. (Although GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. has stated that reports of an imminent deal with Madson were completely false.) We now have one of the best closers in the game, but I can’t help but have a little concern over the length of the contract. Will he really be the team’s closer through the 2016 season?
I turned to my favorite Red Sox fan over in Section 36 with my concern, asking him if I should be worried. His response helped calm my nerves a little, even though his last point will prove to be completely off the mark:
I guess "worried" depends on the financial state of the Phillies. He's a great closer. He'll rack up the saves. He'll be fun to watch come into games. Yes, it's a lot of years/money. He'll be good for most of it I would assume. I personally have a hard time giving any closer that kind of money. But, he'll help your team get to the World Series. You'll lose to the Red Sox, of course. But, NL Champs should be fine.So that helped, but then I realized I had a few more questions:
1. Is re-signing Jimmy Rollins still in the budget?
2. How will Papelbon fare at Citizens Bank Park?
3. Why didn’t we just go with Madson, who is home-grown and would have cost less?
4. Madson was very popular in the clubhouse. Will Papelbon fit in here?
5. Will Antonio Bastardo give up #58, Papelbon's number with the Sox?
Only time will tell.
Juan Perez (11) 11/2/11 - Became a minor league free agent
Pete Orr (11) 11/3/11 - Re-signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent with an invitation to Spring Training
Jim Thome (03-05) 11/5/11 - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cleveland Indians
Jonathan Papelbon 11/14/11 - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Boston Red Sox