11 Nov 2011
Since Jonathan Papelbon became a Red Sox, he made it clear he wouldn’t sign a longterm deal while still eligible for arbitration and instead go for the big free agent deal. It appears that happened today with reports the Phillies have signed him for 4 years @ $50mm with a vesting 5th year option (info obtained from MLBTradeRumors.com who in turn got the info from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com).
With Papelbon gone, the Red Sox are faced with a choice of letting Daniel Bard close or go and sign a proven closer. Top candidates for the latter include Heath Bell and Ryan Madson.
You have to be happy for Papelbon because he got what he always wanted even if it means money was his sole ambition, but the Red Sox have some thinking to do and I don’t think Bobby Jenks is the answer.
A few other notes. I don’t want the Red Sox to sign Carlos Beltran, he is basically JD Drew and won’t stay healthy. I just celebrated the retirement (expected retirement) of Drew, please don’t replace him with his baseball clone. I’d prefer to let Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish fight it out in right field or give it to Michael Cuddyer if his price tag is reasonable.
Clay Buchholz said something interesting after the season about former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. I’m paraphrasing but he basically said, “I talked to him as little as possible because I was afraid of the man.” That probably sums up what went wrong with this pitching staff. The cat went away and the mouse did play. Hoping they get a saber-toothed tiger for the next pitching coach.