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Report: Bobby Jenks agrees to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Red Sox

Dec 16, 2010, 2:50 PM EST

Bobby Jenks

UPDATE: Buster Olney says it’s done: Bobby Jenks has agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Red Sox.  This came out of left field.

Significance: once again the Red Sox have beat their AL East rivals this offseason, as both New York  and Tampa Bay were obviously looking to upgrade their bullpens and each at least took at look at Jenks.

Added significance: between Jenks at $6 million this year and Papelbon at, what, $11-12 million after arbitration, there is some serious weight at the back end of the bullpen in Boston.  And Daniel Bard is now the absolute best middle reliever in baseball.

2: 44 PM: Heyman is now saying that he’s hearing Jenks is close to a deal with — get this — the Red Sox.  We weren’t expecting that.

11:59 AMJon Heyman reports that Bobby Jenks is looking or “closer money” — he thinks $8 million a year, and for that reason Bobby Jenks is not a candidate for the Yankees. Who, as you’re probably aware, have a closer who makes twice that already.  I think he’d be great as a setup guy in New York, but I think a lot of things.

Last night I reported that the Rays were in negotiations with Jenks.  I was a bit off on that “he could sign with the Rays as soon as tonight” thing, obviously, but my source tells me that they’re still interested in him — “deep discussion” is the way it was characterized to me —  and he would presumably stand to be their closer if they signed him. Which is probably what he wants to be.  In light of the $8 million demand about which Heyman speculates, however, the Rays may be hesitant.

Mostly though,  I’d like to see the Rays thing work out because then Heyman would do his usual thing and tweet “Calcaterra was the first one who reported the Rays’ interest” like he does with other writers.  Which I’m sure he’d do in my case, right?

  1. Brian - Dec 16, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I, too, am looking for closer money, but unfortunately I have to settle for private-school-teacher money. it’s an injustice.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    The Rays are gonna blow next season. Jenks is not a solid closer and no where near as good as Soriano at this point in their careers.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:13 PM

      Update: bad move Red Sox. I’m tellin’ ya, the man is done and there’s a fork clearly protruding from his side…

      • thinman61 - Dec 16, 2010 at 4:18 PM

        Right. Because that .368 BABIP is going to happen again. I think I’ll place more faith in his 2.62 xFIP, thanks. The man was unlucky in 2010. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 16, 2010 at 4:36 PM

        I agree with your numbers, but disagree with your conclusion.

  3. stackers1 - Dec 16, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    I’d be willing to take, .220 hitting, utility infielder money, but must settle for a low level collections manager pay. Marvin Miller – if you reading this – please call at once.

  4. Ari Collins - Dec 16, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    As a BoSox fan, I approve; the guy had the lowest xFIP of his career last year. He’d be a steal any other off-season, but with the crazy contracts being handed out to relievers, he’s merely a relative bargain.

    • rje49 - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:15 PM

      OK, fellow Sox fan, what the heck is “xFIP”?
      All these new stats and their abreviations are driving me nuts. I never heard of this one before.
      While we’re at it, can anyone help out with “BABIP”? I think the IP part is innings pitched…

      • spindervish - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:21 PM

        BABIP=Batting Average on Balls in Play.

        xFIP=Expected Fielding-Independent Pitching.

        Get your Fangraphs.com on, son.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2010 at 1:15 AM

        xFIP is basically the ERA you’d have if all things were equal and you weren’t lucky or unlucky. Basically, Jenks struck out a ton of guys, didn’t walk too many, and gave up few home runs, but when someone made contact with his pitches, the balls tended to fall in more often than your average bloops. When someone hit a fly ball (NOT line drives, just fly balls), batters hit over .300 on them, which is waaaay more than should happen on fly balls.

        Which is what BABIP is, basically: batting average on balls in play. When a ball is put in play, it’s generally going to be a it 30% of the time (.300). There are very few pitchers who consistently give up higher or lower BABIPs. So when those balls fall in at a high rate over a small sample (like Jenks’ 50-odd innings), there’s a very good chance the balls will be caught more often next year, and you can buy (relatively) low on him.

  5. proudlycanadian - Dec 16, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    I am not sure how this will help the Red Sox. Jenks seems to have reached his best before date.

  6. joshv02 - Dec 16, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Whatever the Commish did this offseason to stop the leaks has been pretty good. There have been few good leaks, and it seems like most reporters are nearly making up what they “hear” until there is something pretty close to done.

  7. BC - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I don’t understand this signing, unless they’re planning to move Papelbon.

    • thinman61 - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:29 PM

      I’m pretty sure you just answered your own question.

    • Ace - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:42 PM

      That bullpen needs all the help it can get, in my opinion. Beyond Papelbon and Bard, the Sox had no one they could trust from the pen last year. Assuming they have some understanding with Jenks that although he will be receiving “closer money” he won’t technically be closing games, I think this is a good move. They may be overpaying, but only for 2 years, and they can afford it. If they’re planning on unloading Papelbon and replacing him with Jenks, then I’d be concerned.

  8. psousa1 - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    Bard is outstanding against lefties so that is like having a lefty in the pen. Jenks will be ‘right handed setup unless Papelbon is incosistent again.

    Boston just gave Jenks more per annum than Papelbon is going to get (per year) when he goes free agent. Can’t see Papelbon being moved – who would want to give up anything of value for a guy going into his walk year? K-Rod thought he was going to break the bank. Only thing that low life broke was his hand.

    • JBerardi - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:12 PM

      Bard is better against righties than lefties. In his career, he has a 4.10 K/BB ratio against righties versus 1.78 for left handers.

  9. pisano - Dec 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    This might mean Papelbum is going to get in the wind. He might do better in the NL, because he doesn’t fool anyone in the AL.

  10. Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    A good explanation of why Jenks is underrated this offseason, from Marc Normandin of Baseball Prospectus fame: http://redsoxbeacon.com/2010/12/sox-get-that-elusive-third-reliever-in-jenks/

  11. pisano - Dec 17, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    I hope the Sox included a Jenny Craig weight loss plan in his contract, because he’ll need it.

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