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Four years and $50 million for Papelbon? Seriously, Philly?

Nov 11, 2011, 3:14 PM EDT

papelbon getty Getty Images

There were many, many potential closers on the market this morning. None had signed yet. None made the sort of money Jonathan Papelbon did last year, have the mileage on their arms that he does and most of them aren’t his age.  Yet, somehow, Ruben Amaro decided that Papelbon needed a four-year, $50 million deal.

You OK with that, Philly fans?  You OK with Papelbon getting one more year and $13 million more than Brad Lidge got on his last deal?

Not to say that Papelbon is bad.  He’s not. Had a really nice bounceback year in 2011.  The real issue here is a four-year deal for a closer of any stripe.  Those are pretty rare and rarely have they ever worked out. Joe Nathan had a decent one at the same age as Papelbon.  As Alex Speier noted in a column the other day, though, 11 closers have been given multi-year deals worth $9 million or more.  With the exception of Mariano Rivera, they just haven’t worked out and most have been fairly disastrous.  And that’s just multi-year deals, not four freaking years.

I’ll grant that Papelbon could be a moderate improvement over Ryan Madson in the near term, but it doesn’t make them markedly better as a team. It certainly doesn’t make them any younger, as this deal takes Papelbon through his age 34 season. It doesn’t help the Phillies bottom line by damn sight, and it’s already pretty heavily-loaded with big salaries owed to aging players.

So the question is why? Why these dollars to this dude?  Why, when there are other holes to fill on this team — offense is a concern, pitching not nearly as much — do the Phillies need to go out and get an expensive Proven Closer?

I’m baffled.

136 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. zakharovsa - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Y’all Phils fans are going to explode when Cole walks. “Sorry, Cole, but we spent all our money on a SHUTDOWN CLOSER and the ghost of Ryan Howard.”

    • The Common Man - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Oh, mocking this deal is never going to get old.

      • skipperxc - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        Nah, Howard’s has set the bar too high for this to be all that fun.

      • siftin thru nonsense - Nov 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        With the best pitching staff in the league, you dont want to mess around with the closer position. You either sign Madson at 44 or 45M over 4yrs or whatever Bor-ass wanted him to get OR you get the best available closer on the market at what you think he is worth, before others go after him. Phillies can handle it. We need bats and still need other help in pen though. Not sure what they will do at SS. At least the Phillies made it to the playoffs this year.

    • schmedley69 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      More than likely, the non-Phils fans will explode when Rube signs Cole to an “overpriced” extension.

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        What i find weird is so many boston fans are “acting” so happy about this. If your so happy why would you waste so much time trying to convince phillies fans (or maybe most likely yourselves) how bad papelbon is? Oh thats right because he isn’t that bad.Oh thats right he is argueable a top 5 closer in baseball and the phillies just locked him up for 4 years. What a bunch of idiots hahaha.

      • basedrum777 - Nov 11, 2011 at 5:28 PM

        I normally agree with the Phils moves but this is baffling. Papel is mediocre at best and is on a steady decline since earlier in his career. Closers tend not to work well on multi-year deals.

      • sexyya - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        jinks10, I’m a redsox fan and trust me this is a bad deal..And we are not convincing you, we are only telling you. Red Sox fans know their baseball and they know a bad deal when they see one. If he was still good, fans will be matching down landsdowne road protesting on why we let him go. But go to the boston newspapers and the common theme is “Goodluck Paplebon, thanks for the memories”.

      • dan1111 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        @jnks10 – I’m a Red Sox fan. I think Papelbon is good, and would rather have him on the team than not. However, $50 million is way too much for someone who is “argueable a top 5 closer in baseball”.

      • siftin thru nonsense - Nov 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        The bonehead that said Papelbon is on a decline.. this is nonsense if you are looking at regular season. Let’s take a look at the reality.. All of these stats have improved over the past 3 yrs: Hits/9IP, WHIP, HR/9IP, BB/9IP, K/9IP, and K:BB. 87K to 10BB is pretty outstanding. How many closers top that ratio???

    • 78mu - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM

      Just be happy it is not your money.

      • protius - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        jnks10, the typical illiterate Phillies fan.

        It’s you’re not your, and he is arguably, not argueable (Learn how to spell, you moron).

        I’s are capitalized, as are names; for example: Phillies, Papelbon, Boston.

      • jeffro33 - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        protius- A typical, grammatical douche that brings nothing but hate to the conversation. Talk sports, and look in the mirror. You aren’t perfect. (ps- I’m not either)

        As far as the actual content, my view is Scott Boras 1, MLB teams 0. To set the market this high for Madson so he could bait the Phillies into overpaying for Pap was genius. Unfortunately for the other needs the Phils have, Amaro clearly overspent.

      • protius - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:06 AM

        Kiss my grammatical ass. You’re such an ignoramus; you don’t know the difference between disdain and hate.

        If someone, anyone doesn’t correct jnks10 he or she doesn’t have any incentive to get it right. I use sarcasm to make my point.

      • ghostyjoe - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:35 AM

        protius, internally inconsistent use of commas re:modifiers (see comma after second “not”; also see no comma after first not). Unnecessary capitalization of “learn”. Improper use of semi-colon.

        jinks10 has terrible opinions. He’s a terrible writer. But there’s nothing uncommonly terrible about his opinions or his writing. protius, decreed prescriptivism requires an understanding and a facility that you, apparently, do not have. Please stop correcting the spelling, grammar, and stylistic choices of others.

      • protius - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:28 AM


        You’re completely clueless. “Internally inconsistent use of commas” lmao….

        “Unnecessary capitalization of “learn”. “ Really?……….Do you know anything about academic writing? Have you ever heard of MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, CGOS, CBE?

        “Improper use of semi-colon. “ I hope you’re a better plumber, because as a writing critic, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        Joe, when it comes to writing, you, jeffro33 and jnks10 are excellent shoemakers.

        Someday, when you’re all old enough to wear big boy pants, you’ll remember these lessons with fondness. Until then, I will continue to try and help the spelling, grammar, and stylistically challenged clean up their act.

        P.S. Have you noticed the improvement in jnks10 writing lately?

      • ghostyjoe - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        protius, I’m familiar with academic writing; I’m not sure why that matters in this, a non-academic, setting. Regardless, there is nothing in any style guide to explain the capitalization of “learn” without a period appearing after “argueable” (which should be there, by the way, as what is in parentheses is a separate sentence than what is without the parentheses). Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say that the lack of period is a typo rather than a stylistic error. Well, you still have the problem of punctuation outside of parentheses when it should be within. For further reference, a semi-colon is meant to separate complete sentences or to clarify syntax (e.g., separating multiple clauses from a list). This–“for example: Phillies, Papelbon, Boston.”–is not a complete sentence and should not be preceded by a semi-colon. And your series of, what I’m presuming is, ellipsis is non-standard as is the spacing that leads into and leads out of the series of ellipsis.

        Oh, and you don’t know what sarcasm is.

        Your response to me was purely ad hominem, void of anything constructive, void of anything resembling humility. You can go on thinking that you’re a good writer, that you have a handle on grammar and syntax if you’d like. That’s fine. My interest in you stops after this and never went further than being slightly prickled by the hubris of your earlier error-brimmed posts.

        This is a site about baseball. I don’t care that much about the uses and misuses of language in this context unless it impedes my understanding.

      • gmouser777 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        What everyone seems to have missed: protius is actually incorrect in his correction.

        “you’re” is the contraction for “you are”. Thus Protius believes the post should have read “Just be happy it is not you are money,” apparently.

        “your” is the correct possessive.

  2. manifunk - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Death to Ruben, death to the Phillies, praise Rizzo, Allahu Natsbar

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      You won’t be saying that when the Nats sign Madson to 4 years/40 million.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    I am not okay with this deal and wouldn’t have been with the Madson proposal as well. Rube has lost his damn mind. The only way this move makes any type of sense is if they cease to care about team payroll and even then it is highly questionable at best.

    • spudchukar - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      That threshold has been crossed.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        Well right…but I mean going super high with the payroll. Like 210 million high.

      • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        Not far now…

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        Well i guess other then the fact that their payroll isn’t even over 170 yet so i guess if they spend 50 million more on this year i can’t complain as a phillies fan?

    • philsieg - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      “…they cease to care about team payroll…”

      Two words. Ryan Howard.

    • paperlions - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      This contract is a steal compared to some of Amaro’s other deals. Which multi-year deals of his have not been for too many year, too much money, or both?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        None…there have been none. I defended the guy all the time but I am done with that. His trades have been over rated too. Damn Rube.

      • uberfatty - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        Isn’t the Halladay deal well below market?

      • Nick C - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        The Halladay deal and…………..nope that’s it.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

        I think Cliff took less money to sign with Philly to didn’t he? Before you state the obvious Paper…YES…I am aware of this having far more to do with Cliff being willing to take less than anything Amaro did to seall the deal. Just stating Cliff’s deal was below market value (if I am remembering correctly).

      • paperlions - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        Cliff took fewer years, and, therefore, fewer total dollars, but the average annual value offered by the Phillies was the most on the table…so…Lee hypothetically left money on the table, but he’ll hit FA sooner and could wind up making more over the long run.

  4. cshearing - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    This is insane. Looks like another one of those deals where you think “Who were they bidding against?”. If no one, that just makes it even more asinine.

    • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Well, no one met with him that I heard of…so no one.

  5. philsieg - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Wait. Papelbon’s 30 and he still acts like a 14-year-old?

    • bigleagues - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      Actually, Epstein and Francona commented in September on how much they feel Papelbon had matured . . . even praising him for helping to lead and instruct younger Pitchers.

  6. rpd118 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Locking an elite closer in for the rest of the Halladay/Lee era to the tune of 6% of our payroll annually? Hold me.

    • paperlions - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      If they are lucky, Papelbon will pitch approximately 4.5% of the IP each year and account for 0% of the plate appearances…meaning he’ll be involved in about 2.25% of action. If Philly’s payroll stays around $170-175M…that means he’ll account for about 7.3% of the payroll.

      • basedrum777 - Nov 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        That is a REEEEAAAALLLLYYYY lose interpretation of Elite…

      • spudchukar - Nov 11, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        Still, when you consider that a closer pitches 1 inning every 2.5 games, and can reap 12.5 mil, it becomes a little difficult to negotiate with a Reyes or Pujols who contribute every day, and every inning and make a little over twice as much. If I were an agent (heaven help me the thought gives me the creeps), I might very well suggest that my client deserves at least 30 mil.

  7. illcomm - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Simple answer to your question. Pappelbon is the best closer on the market right now. We were competing with other big market teams. We struck first and got the guy we wanted and paid for it. 12.5 avg is fine with me. He is younger and has better career numbers than Madson. I’m sure now some will give madson the same deal, prob the nats or red sox.

    • Alex K - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      Papelbon is 3 months younger than Madson. While technically, yes, he’s younger their ages should be considered the same from a contract perspective.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    You made absolute fools of yourselves, Phillies brass. You’re the Tony Reagins of this offseason, suckered into something that won’t help your team.

    I mean, the Phillies are going to continue to destroy for the foreseeable future so it’s not like Amaro HURT them, but if they can’t afford Hamels, a decent SS or another solid outfielder, he sure as hell did.

  9. schmedley69 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Because the Phillies are all in now and they can’t afford to go into the season with an unproven closer. They tried to re-sign Madson, but we all know that Boras clients almost never re-sign with the incumbent. They went out and got the best reliever on the market, and probably had to overpay to lock him up without giving the Sox the ability to match. Sure, people outside Philly are killing Amaro, but can you imagine the criticism in and outside of Philly if he went into the season with an unproven closer? People would have had said “how can you pay Halladay and Lee all of that money and not have a good closer.”

    I know the Phillies are becoming hated like the Yankees now, and I can understand that, but it’s hard to have sympathy for the rest of baseball. No one cried for Phillies fans when we played in The Vet and had to trade Schilling and Rolen away for peanuts. I don’t remember receiving one ounce of sympathy from anyone else in baseball. They sure as hell made a lot of fun of us when we crossed the 10,000 loss barrier though. Oh year, they got a good chuckle out of that.

    The Phillies have a huge fan base, sell out every game and get great TV ratings. It’s not like they have a Billionaire owner (ala Ted Turner) who spends big for an undeserving and uncaring fan base. Phillies fans have invested a lot of their hard-earned money on tickets, parking, merchandise and beer and food. They have sold out every game for years, while the Braves, Marlins and Nats play in front of a bunch of empty seats. No tears for fans for those teams. None at all. Too bad. The Phillies are now the top dog. Deal with it. Did Amaro overpay? Probably. But when you are raking in the money because of a rabid fan base, you can afford the luxaries when you want to.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      You obtain Bell. You sign K-Rod. You sign Nathan. You trade for Joel flippin’ Hanrahan. You DON’T sign a 30 year-old good-but-not-amazing closer to a record-breaking contract.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

      Good points . . . now I have to re-think my outrage.

    • jeffhink - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Everything you say is agreeable/understandable. I’m not thrilled with the deal but your points are valid. But Boras’ involvement with the Madson deal doesn’t seem to be the issue from everything I’ve read. Boras and Madson had agreed to a deal, then Amaro/Montgomery pulled the plug on it.

  10. rpd118 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    You guys are dead wrong about the payroll.

    Papelbon’s salary replaces Lidge’s from last year. And Madson’s is gone with young guys (Bastardo) replacing him.

    Rollins or whomever will get a few more million annually than Rollins did in 2011. Ibanez ($11M) is gone.

    Even with several of the other guys getting raises, there is plenty of money for Hamels.

    This isn’t the 2001 Phils, folks.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      Cliff Lee gets a 10 million dollar raise this season. Pence and Hamels (assuming Hamels gets arbitration and not a long term deal) will get about 7-8 million more this season combined. They still need to sign a 4th starter and SS and improve the bench… way they can do that and stay under the luxury tax.

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Still need a 4th starter? Are you talking about blanton or worely? The SS will come back for about the same price, and all they need is to sign cuddyer and their bench is taking care of. Thanks for proving your just on hear to say what ever it is to try to make the phillies look bad.

      • Alex K - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        jnks10- I don’t think you’re too familiar with the doc, then. I don’t think I’ve ever read him saying whatever to make the Phillies look bad. In fact, it is usually the exact opposite of that.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        Yeah, they need another starter. What are the odds Blanton can pitch a full year? Not very good. Also, you need rotational depth. Kendrick may or may not be back and he is awful anyway.

      • jeffhink - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        They won’t get another starter. Worley and Blanton will be at the back of the rotation with Kendrick ready to step in from the bullpen if needed. And the whole “Kendrick sucks” thing is really starting to get old. He was 8-6, 3.22, 1.97SO/BB last year. In 15 starts he had 3.14, 2.71SO/BB. You can do a lot worse than Kyle Kendrick. At this point I think I prefer him to Blanton.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Look at Kendrick’s peripherals….they are the same every year. This year his performance was more a function of luck than anything else. His xFIP was 4.42 last year and a very lucky .261 BABIP, a SO/W of 2/1….yeah he is terrible.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:47 PM

        Then factor in the likely bump in Kendrick’s salary to around 3.5-4 million.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      per Cot’s

      ’11 – $165.9M
      ’12 – $114M (obligations)

      in ’12 you clear Madsen ($4.8M), Oswalt ($14M), Ibanez ($12.1M) and a bunch of other FA around $7M. Lidge is gone with a $1.5M buyout of $12M, so hat’s roughly $47.5M cleared.

      Now, add in Papelbon at $12.5M ($35M remaining), Cliff Lee jumps up another $10.5M ($22.5M remaining), Victorino gets a $2M raise (20.5), Polanco gets a $1M raise (19.5), Ruiz $1M raise (18.5). So $18.5M to resign Rollins, deal with Hamels Arb case, and sign 6-7 more people? That’s not a lot of money to spare.

      [check my numbers please]

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        Sign 6-7 people. FOR WHAT POSITION! They just didn’t lose their entire bench. And 18.5 million for rollins, can you pass what your smoking to me please?

      • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        jnks, he’s not saying Rollins for 18.5 million, he’s saying that with 18.5 million LEFT you have to do the things he listed, which are to resign Rollins, deal with Hamels’ arbitration and sign additional players.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        He said 18.5 to deal with

        – Rollins or his replacement
        – Hamels Aribitration
        – Pence Arbitration
        – Bench Pieces

        Not a lot of money there. Every penny counts. the 1.5 from the Madson deal might have paid for an under appreciated veteran lefty or righty arm.

        For me the big point is the farm system is STOCKED with arms, there is no need to go beyond 3 years with a closer. By that time most of your AAA arms will be doing the pitching in the BP.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        Actually jnks10 they kind of did lose most of their bench. They would have to offer Francisco arbitration, they need a back-up catcher, they would have to offer Valdez arbitration, and Michael Martinez isn’t a major league player.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        church, this is what I come up with:

        PHILLIES 2012 Anticipated Team Payroll:

        $111.7M in Committed Salaries for 2012 according to Baseball Reference – That’s for 10 players (Howard, Lee, Utley, Halladay, Blanton, Victorino, Polanco, Ruiz, Contreras and Thome plus the buyout clauses of 2 players Lidge and Oswalt).

        $12.5M projected new contract for Papelbon per year. Brings the total to $124.2M.

        $22.5M Estimated for just Hamels and Pence the main 2 arbitration cases. That makes it for just 13 players approximately $146.7M +/-.

        $12M Estimated for resigning Rollins (or comparable player). That brings the total for just 14 players to about $158.7M +/-

        $12M Estimated for possibly signing Cuddyer. That brings the total to $170.7M for just 15 players.

        $8 to $10M Estimated because the Phillies still need to sign 10 players to fill out the 25 man active roster. Now most of those are 2nd time pre-arbitration and currently 2nd year arbitration cases on the Phillies roster. Using the lower total of $8M that brings the 25 man active roster for the Phillies for 2012 season. Brings the total to $178.7M to fill out the 25 man active roster.

        $178.7M Grand Total Estimated Phillies 2012 TOTAL PAYROLL. That’s with no substantial changes in their roster over 2011 in players other than the anticipated signing of Cuddyer and the new signing of Papelbon. Now my math may be off a little but I think it’s relatively very close.
        Just my unbiased opinion but I don’t see a lot of wiggle room in the Phillies payroll for 2012 if they intend to stay around the luxury tax threshold. Mainly because I don’t see MLB/Players union agreeing to much of an annual increase in the luxury threshold for the 2012 season under the new CBA.
        Note: I’m not sure but I believe the luxury tax is calculated on the teams 40 man roster not just the 25 man active roster.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        Oh and don’t question my Phillies phandom. I am on here touting the Phillies constantly. I’m trying to see this as objectively as possible without Phillies colored glasses.

      • bigleagues - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        I can’t wait until Cliff Lee is being paid $27Million at age 36. Awesome.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        Sign 6-7 people. FOR WHAT POSITION!

        Because you need 25 people on the roster, and you need a full 40 man.

  11. aceshigh11 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Papelbon had a REALLY GOOD bounce-back year. He started the year in great shape and maintained it all year…

    …but you’ve gotta wonder how much of that was due to the fact that this was his walk year. He had been in gradual decline since his 2007 dominance.

    Yeah, he gets lots of saves, but the stats are deceptive: ANY Sox fan will tell you that, more often than not, it’s a highwire act with him…lots of walks, singles, home runs, full counts…and THEN, MAYBE, the save.

    Nice clean 1-2-3 9th innings were rare in 2009 and 2010…2011 was better but still not great.

    Good luck, Phillies. You’re gonna need it.

    • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      He gave up less walks, less hits, more strike outs, and 1 less save then madson last year. But you were talking about high wire acts?

      • aceshigh11 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        Like I said, he had a very good year, but you had to really watch him all season to see that he’s not a dominant “1-2-3” mow-’em-down guy anymore.

        Every save situation seems to be an adventure with him nowadays.

    • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      One memory comes to mind…September 28, 2011…in Baltimore. Have fun Phillies.

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        One memory comes to mind…. Oct 2007. THANKS BOSTON!

  12. flyerscup2010 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    this is pretty terrible

  13. phillphan - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I bet if the Braves would have made this deal,Craig would have thought it was a bargain.

    • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      He would of wrote an article about how they are changing baseball with their intelligent moves.

    • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      Sigh. Really? It’s an overpayment no matter who would have signed him to this deal.

      PS: The Braves don’t need another closer, they have Kimbrel >.>.

      • phillies2k8 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        Yeah. Braves only need a couple starters, a third baseman, a left fielder, etc… Go Bravos.

      • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        Because talking about what the Braves need = talking about why deal seems like overly generous.

        Oh wait, that’s right, it doesn’t. Instead of arguing the merits you need to descend into attacking the Braves like your friend above and/or accusing Craig of being biased in calling this a suspect deal when everyone outside of Philly think this is a suspect deal.

      • phillies2k8 - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        I agree they probably overpaid and in the end unless he is almost perfect the next 4 years (highly unlikely) it will be considered a bad deal. But almost every team makes a questionable deal (i.e., Derek Lowe) now and then. That’s all I’m saying.

      • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        You are absolutely correct phillies2k8 and I agree that every team makes the questionable deal from time to time; in the Braves case (sadly for me as a fan bleh) there was the terrible Lowe deal that we had to eat 10 million on just a few weeks ago when we traded him to the Indians and the HORRID Kenshin Kawakami deal.

        I don’t the Papelbon is necessarily a bad closer, in fact I think he’s pretty good; but as you said the expectations are through the roof with a deal of this magnitude.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Don’t be a dumbass.

  14. rpd118 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Knobler reporting the Red Sox are in on Madson and Bell.

    So that’s at least one big-spending team the Phils were bidding against.

    • paperlions - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      Not necessarily, if they didn’t mind which they signed, they could have just been waiting for the Phillies to sign one so they don’t have them to bid against.

  15. mikedi33 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Because if you were going to spend 44 million on a reliable Toyota you might as well spend a like more and get a Lexus

  16. philsphan54 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    bad article. bad info interpretation. paplebon is a year younger than madson. and they were lookin at recieving the same deal minus 1.5 mil a year. look at the careers. paplebon has been lights out.

    • phillphan - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      craig doesnt post stats when they favor the phillies. only the braves

      • phukyouk - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        Lights out? 2009 against the Halos 2011 against the rays both when it counted most. Get get facts right.

      • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        Sorta like how he picked the Phillies to win the NL East AND the WS before the season started, not knowing your team would lose in the NLDS again.

        You can’t be serious with this bias claim.

    • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      He was lights out for the Sox last year…lights out on the season. Couldn’t hold a ninth inning lead when the Sox needed to win that game in Baltimore.

  17. siouxyaya17 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Bastardo > Papelbon, Madson

    Do the math yourself. Big mistake.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      Bastardo – 10.86K – 4.03 BB – .179 BABIP – 25.4 GB% – 2.64/3.30/3.56 (ERA/FIP/xFIP)
      Madsen – 9.20K – 2.37 BB – .315 BABIP – 48.8 GB% – 2.37/2.25/2.94
      Papelbon – 12.17K – 1.40 BB – .309 BABIP – 37.5 GB% – 2.94/1.53/2.16

      Last year’s results; how is Bastardo better than those two?

      • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        His name has bastard in it…he wins.

  18. 18thstreet - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    The Phillies is dead.

  19. bigleagues - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha . . . .

    I love Jon Papelbon and appreciate him for his contributions towards Red Sox glory . . . . and he may end up being a HOF Closer, but . . . I LOVE Ruben Amaro and the Phillies for taking the bait, bidding against yourself and signing a guy who probably wasn’t gonna come back anyway.

    It may sound counter-intuitive, but the Phillies just made Cherington’s job easier. He doesn’t have to deal with persistent Papelbon questions as FA progresses, and now can focus on spending up to $10 Million to find another Reliever or two to serve as possible Closers. And I’ll gladly take a shot at Madson. Heath Bell anyone? Also, I’m not convinced that Bard can’t succeed if he’s given the job to lose.

    • rpd118 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM


      check back with us in July when Papelbon is outpitching Madson for an extra million

      • marshmallowsnake - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        In a weaker league.

      • bigleagues - Nov 11, 2011 at 5:10 PM


        Papelbon is going to be AWESOME for the Phillies. I have no doubt about that. And it’s never easy to replace an elite Closer like Papelbon, but the Cardinals just Won the World Series with 8 different relievers accounting for 47 Saves during the regular season.

        Aberration? Perhaps, but the Cardinals bullpen is filled with live arms with varying but complementary skill sets. But the Cards 2011 bullpen also adds credence to the philosophy that Closers aren’t born, they are anointed.

        In other words, whoever serves as the Red Sox Closer in 2012 almost certainly won’t perform at or exceed Papelbonian levels, but could, on the whole, approximate Papelbon’s effectiveness, but at a fraction of the cost. Papelbon is a far more dominate reliever than Keith Foulke was, but they were both the Closers on a Red Sox World Series winning team. Plus the excess payroll could go toward more SP, RP or bench depth.

    • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      Your not going to get madson for just 10 million and Heath Bell has a flat fastball that was aided by san deigo. Good luck my friend, in your division your going to need it.

  20. rpd118 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM


    you’ve got to be kidding. bastardo was fried down the stretch this year.

    moreover, the phils still have him. you need more than one bullpen stud.

  21. eaglebobby - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    I agree with you phillphan. The author of this article is a Braves fan and trying to be a journalist he let his bias show. The Phils want to use the bullpen more this year and lessen the wear and tear on the arms of Halladay, Lee and Hamels–Halladay and Lee especially because they’re getting older. They don’t want to use the bp quite the way that Gonzalez did in Atlanta when his top two guys were burned out by September. They’ve got Papelbon to close; Contreras for the 8th; Bastardo as a lefty option for the 8th; Stutes; so they’re going to need at least 3 more arms–if they don’t tender KK.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Said Author picked the Phillies to win the NL East this year and the WS this year, oh yeah he’s biased. I’m pretty sure if the Braves had done this deal he would have railed against them too. In reality Closers not named Rivera are ALREADY massively overpaid, this is just going to continue the trend…

  22. jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    hahaha the people on here are hilarious. Look at the stats. Raise your hand if you didn’t even read the article and just wanted to say the phillies are idiots. OK i see everyones hand. Now Craig once again a statless article? I WONDER WHY?

    • phillies2k8 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      No stats but Craig did mention the mileage on Papelbon’s arm. Although Madson has close to 200+ more innings pitched over his career (including postseason).

      • jnks10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        Ya i know somehow Craig MISPLACED that stat.

      • phillphan - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Kimbrels and Venters arms have more wear and tear on them than Pappelbons and Madsons after this years thanks to Freddi

      • jamaicanjasta - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:10 PM

        Sigh, I don’t even know where to start on that Phillphan >.>. Kimbrel pitched 13 more innings last year than Papelbon. And he only has 97 innings pitched in his entire career versus Papelbon’s 429.

  23. phillies2k8 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    I liked Madson, but obviously he wanted more than they were willing to pay Papelbon. Does this fill an obvious need? Yes. The Phillies have Bastardo and Stutes and need a quality closer. They still need offensive help but who’s available: Pujols/Reyes/Fielder? Plus they raised ticket prices so I assume they have more money to spend.

  24. flyinhighwithvick - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Craig, your such a hater.

  25. missthemexpos - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    As bad a deal as some are saying this is, it sure puts into perspective just how absurd J.P. Ricciardi handing out a 47 Million dollar deal to B. J. Ryan was, back in the fall of 2005.

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