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UPDATE: Papelbon and the Sox probably have a deal

Jan 19, 2010, 3:31 PM EDT

UPDATERob Bradford of is reporting that the Sox and Papelbon have a deal in place for $9 million for 2010.

9:55 A.M.: Or else they’re going to arbitration.  I’d bet on arbitration, as the Sox don’t seem all that interested in a long term deal, and Papelbon is reported to want to “raise the bar” for closers.

How high is that bar going to get set, in arbitration or otherwise?  Hard to say.  Bobby Jenks just signed for $7.5 million.  Brian Fuentes is making $17.5 million over the next two years.  Francisco Cordero, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge and K-Rod are on deals averaging a bit above or a bit below $12 million. Above that you’re in Mariano Rivera land ($15 million).

Of course, given Papelbon’s general obliviousness, they could probably offer him a raise to, oh, $8 million and tell him that he’s making Mariano Rivera money. He just might believe it.

  1. Ross - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    It might be even easier to just tell him that he, in fact, *is* Mariano Rivera. Explaining the concept of a raise would require math.

  2. aceshigh - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Papelbon isn’t worth big bucks.
    He’s on the verge of blowing his arm out, his velocity’s down, he has no good secondary or tertiary pitches, AL batters know what to expect from him and exposed him repeatedly last year…etc.
    He gave us a few good years, but he’s not going to be an elite closer in 2-3 years, no way.

  3. PilotHawkeye - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    IMHO, Mr. Papelbon has a long way to go before he can be considered in the same class as Mr. Rivera. In fact, I do not believe that Mr. Papelbon will ever be in the same zip code as Mr. Rivera, let alone the same class.
    Again, IMHO, it appears that Mr. Papelbon has an over inflated opinion of himself; Mr. Rivera lets his prowness do the talking for him.
    Like I said, just my opinion.

  4. BCTF - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    But what is your opinion on this matter?

  5. BoKnowsBoston - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    I live in New England and love the Red Sox, but Papelbon’s antics are getting old. He loves to talk, which sadly often times works to his detriment. He wants to win and is a team player but his arrogance is tough to mask. He has been a very good pitcher for several years but has a long ways to go before he can compare himself to Rivera. The shelf life for closers, and any reliever for that matter, is very short. Mariono is an exception in not only ability but longevity. I don’t see the Red Sox investing significant money and years with Papelbon.

  6. ditmars1929 - Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Pilot, it’s YOUR post. We know it’s your opinion. Christ, if I wanted to hear “in my opinion” several times over, I’ll take the ice pick out of my ear and listen to McCarver.

  7. Evil EmpirE 2010 - Jan 19, 2010 at 11:25 AM


  8. Fast Eddy - Jan 19, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    There is only one Rivera. This guy was good, but not Mariano. I think too, that his best days are behind him, unless an operation can fix his arm when it goes. However, with that all said, look at what others are paying for talent, and not so talented. This will go to arbitration.

  9. Bll - Jan 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    I get the opinion part but can someone tell me what a “prowness” is? And how might one show it?

  10. Omega in Colorado - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    They may be able to trick Papelbon into paying the Red Sox $8 Million a year to pitch for them. It couldn’t hurt to float the idea by him, especially if he is River Dancing in the infield at the time.

  11. bobfromwork - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    holy crap, if we don’t have Papelbon, who do we have?

  12. Sharkie - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Papelbon is good but he’s not great, and he will never be in Mariano’s rhelm……NEVER! I mean really! how many pitches does Papelbon have to use? 3-4? Mariano has ONE!!!!! and he has dominated for 14 years with that one pitch, everyone that goes up there knows what they’re getting and they still cannot hit it!! the best hitters in the game end up looking ridiculous when Mo is on the mound. Papelbon might have better ERA, but he’s only 5 seasons into his career, no way he desreves more than whay he’s getting.

  13. on the sidelines - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    we all watched as Paps melted down in game three against the Halos. it’s time to look at Bard as the closer, because maybe we’ve seen the best out of ol’ no. 58. In any case, right now he doesn’t look like he’ll be the next Mo. Unless, of course, they are casting for the three stooges movie. Bobfromwork, we’ll manage, don’t forget the Red Sox won with Keith Foulke as closer, so we’ll find a way, especially with the starters we have.

  14. Fanamine - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Bill, he was trying to say prowess. It may have been a typo.

  15. basedrum777 - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    I would say he still appears to be the best option that the Sox have and better than 90% of the closers in the MLB. They’ll end up in K-rod range before this is all said and done….(maybe a bit less)

  16. Zonebrick - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Time to begin the Daniel Bard era – trade Papelbon quick while he still has value.

  17. Ladyfan - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    It’s a shame that Papelbon’s agent can’t keep him from talking. Every time he opens his mouth, his value goes down. And this from a die hard Red Sox fan, no less. He embarrasses me, and I’m sure he embarrasses a lot of my fellow fans. In this game, it’s put up or shut up. Paps hasn’t “put up” for a while now, and it’s time for him to “shut up” and prove he’s worth the big money. I watch EVERY game, and I haven’t seen the proof. He had one outstanding season. Last season he was barely adequate. I am not alone among Red Sox fans, I am sure, in hoping the Sox either (a) re-sign him on the cheap and bring Bard along faster, or (b) trade him for a closer with more stamina who can actually locate his pitches at will – the mark of a true closer. With Papelbon closing this season, and with the rest of our bullpen pitching at status quo, we had better hope all the starting rotation pitchers are on their game, because if they leave with a lead of less than 5 runs, the bull pen will find a way to lose the game. I wonder – perhaps it’s time for a new pitching coach, as well?

  18. PilotHawkeye - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Thank you. “prowness” was most definitely a typo!!!

  19. talex - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Red Sox fans don’t kid yourself … Papelbon deserves to get the second highest contract for a closer behind Mariano Rivera. Show me another closer (beside Rivera) who can give you 5 straight years with ERA’s of 2.65; 0.92; 1.85; 2.34; and 1.85 with 35, 37, 41, and 38 saves! And so he blew one playoff game? Did you watch Houston Street cower and implode in the playoffs? How about Brian Fuentes who looked like he wanted to run away and hide under a rock when he was pitching in the playoffs. And the ever present shrinking violet, Joe Nathan, looked like he was scared to death right before A-Rod hit that game-tying homerun against him in the playoffs. Before you right Papelbon off you may want to consider what you have against the unknown–what you don’t have. I doubt you’ll get a better closer if you cast Papelbon off. The Sox’s replacements for Bay, Lowell, Manny, and SS have been a big let down. So will your next closer, I’m afraid.

  20. PilotHawkeye - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    OUCH!!! That’s what I get for trying to be ‘overly polite’. To be compared to Tim McCarver, who I cannot stomach at all, really hurts.
    Well, so much for being polite. After Papelbon’s meltdown against the Angels last year, he is not in the best bargaining position now, is he. He should just ‘suck it up’, and be grateful for whatever the Sox offer him. He needs to get it through his head that he needs to maintain a high level of excellence for the next 10 years before he can possibly be compared Rivera. Like Ladyfan said above, Papelbon needs to shut up.

  21. YankeePhan - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    He is not even worth what he gets now! The red sux suck!

  22. Dazed and Confused - Jan 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    “He is not even worth what he gets now! The red sux suck!”
    Really? That’s your post? Please go to the Fox Sports web site where that level of intellect is welcome.

  23. You Sir..... - Jan 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    are an idiot…..

  24. TK - Jan 19, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    Ladies and gentlemen, all future replies are rendered unnecessary! We have a winner!
    YankeePhan wins the award for “Unoriginality and useless input”. To everyone else, thank you for your submissions.

  25. VJ - Jan 19, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Look, we all can agree PAP is not MO, before you go bashing PAP about last year, you need to go to and compare both stats, MO was third and Pap was 6, the stats are almost the same, Mo had the best ERA and Hoffman had the second best with Pap in third, but Hoffman had 13 games less then PAP.
    So come on give Pap a break, he is the second best, and I can almost bet that Pap was put into tighter situations then MO, you can’t compare apples to apples, Pay the guy because he is still one of the best.

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