If Jonathan Papelbon wasn't watching his back before, he will be now.
As first reported by Jon Heyman of SI.com, Boston is close to a deal with free-agent closer Bobby Jenks, who will apparently be changing his socks from white to red. Jenks was non-tendered by the White Sox after making $7.5 million in 2010. He had 27 saves and a 4.44 ERA, the highest of his career and not what you want from a closer, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com is hearing the deal is two years and $12 million. It sure is good to be a free-agent reliever this winter.
Jenks gives the Red Sox an alternative to Papelbon, who according to reports is available for the taking as far as the Red Sox are concerned. But Papelbon is arbitration-eligible and made $9.35 million last season, so Boston is not likely to find any takers. Looks like a full-blown closer controversy in Beantown.
-- David Andriesen