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Report: Phillies “really like” free agent Jonathan Papelbon

Nov 10, 2011, 7:18 PM EDT

papelbon getty Getty Images

Despite previous reports, the Phillies never had a four-year, $44 million contract agreement in place with free agent closer Ryan Madson.

The two sides are continuing to discuss terms and a deal could be struck eventually, but the Philadelphia front office apparently has a fall-back plan in case those talks with Madson completely fall apart.

Here’s the tweet from’s Jon Heyman:


Madson, 31, registered a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings this year, tallying 32 saves in 34 opportunities. Papelbon, 30, posted a 2.94 ERA and 87/10 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 innings, earning 31 saves in 34 chances. The numbers are similar and the ages are similar, so it’s all going to come down to price.

  1. Ari Collins - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I’m still hoping Papelbon will go to a team with a better draft position.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:55 PM

      Ari, I honestly think that the proposed Philly interest in Papelbon is just posturing to get Madson to sign a more favorable contract than the one that permeated most of the sports blogs the past 24 or so hours.

      Call it a hunch but I think Boston and Papelbon reunite for the 2012 season and maybe even a few after that.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM

        I’d bet not. Boston doesn’t spend big on relievers. But we’ll see!

      • bosoxfan1950 - Nov 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        I would be happier if that were true,”uy1950.” Sadly, it is not. Seems that Papelbon will take his talents to the National League Phillies. Sigh.
        Big mistake Cherington! Huge. You better hurry up and re-sign David Ortiz. That screeching sound you hear is the plucking of chickens. And that smell that’s permeating Boston is the heating of tar. Hint! Hint!
        Biggest need the Red Sox have is pitching and you just let the second-best Closer in MLB walk away. I have a news flash for you, Ben . . . Bard is NOT ready!

  2. drunkenhooliganism - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    I’m still hoping that Papelbon will go anywhere but Philly. I’ll consider the Phillies’ offseason a success the second Papelbon signs with someone else.

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    I’m not sure I understand the Phillies “interest” in Papelbon. Other than to put a little bit more pressure on Madson. They obviously have a very, very viable closer candidate in Madson that certainly when all is said and done will cost less than Papelbon.

    I would have to think that regardless of the “spin” put on the recent contract talks between the Phillies and Madson that Papelbon is aware that the Phillies were at least entertaining the idea of offering their closer a 4 year deal plus an option year. I would think Papelbon and his agent would have that in the back of their minds in any negotiations with the Phillies. And considering Papelbon is probably looking at a minimum of $13M on a per year basis. Papelbon can’t help but be a more expensive signing for the Phillies than Madson is or will be.

    • phillyphreak - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM

      I would think the same way Unless the Phillies think that they can pay a little more per year for a shorter time (2 years with an option?) so they’re not so tied financially down the road.

      • phillyphreak - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        Though the more I think about it, the more I don’t like this idea too much either. Damn “closers” are start to cost too much.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:58 PM

        I can’t see Papelbon accepting a 2 year deal. 3 years yes, but not 2 years. The Sox are certainly going to offer him arbitration. The worst that he can do is accept the arbitration offer where he’ll most likely get a bump up to close to $14M if not $14M. He can go year to year like that and make close to $30M over what would be a 2 year period.

  4. gb4ever0811 - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    To Phillies fans a “Brad Lidge” was two parts whiskey, one part pepto-bismol. A “Jonathan Papelbon” would be two parts whiskey, one part mylanta, and one part aspirin.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM

      At least Brad Lidge is a decent guy. Papelbon is a megadouche. The town where Massengill is headquartered is named Papelbon.

      • cur68 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:26 PM

        drunken, that line, “The town where Massengill is headquartered is named…”? I am SO ripping that off…

      • drunkenhooliganism - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:36 AM

        It’s all yours brother. I’m pretty sure I didn’t copy it. but it seems too easy that someone else didn’t already write it.

        As far as I know, I created it at 8:30 last night. you can be my canadian distributor.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    This story and the companion Madson stories are bizarre. Something weird is going on here. I think the sportswriters involved in putting out some of this info. are unwittingly acting like shills for Boras, the Phillies or both.

    • bigxrob - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      My thoughts exactly. Negotiating tactics.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Sox need Papelbon back. Bard looks nowhere near ready to replace him and Pap’s the only one making that BP look acceptable

  7. Francisco (FC) - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Amaro has denied there was ever a deal in place or even close to being signed:

    Make of that what you will…

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