Blog Entry

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:42 pm

By Evan Brunell

Do the Red Sox even want Jonathan Papelbon back?

The Red Sox are on the hunt for a new closer, and despite Papelbon being the best name on the market, the Red Sox don't seem all that interested in hurrying a decision along.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said on Wednesday that while he has had dialogue with David Ortiz's agent and talks are progressing faster because the market is more easily determined, the same can't be said about Papelbon.

“With Pap, it’s a little bit more difficult, because more options in terms of the National League, more unknown about what’s out there,” Cherington told WEEI. “So [there's been] less dialogue with him, but keep the door open certainly and we’ll talk again I’m sure next week.”

So far, so good, right? Nothing out of the norm that would make you raise your eyebrow. But Cherington wasn't finished talking about Papelbon, and what he said is worth some notice. Cherington said that the Red Sox aren't obligated a courtesy call or right of refusal on Papelbon.

“Those things can happen fast sometimes,” said Cherington. “He doesn’t owe us a call. I don’t think we expect that. We expect we’ll keep the door open and keep talking. But if he gets something that he really wants and there’s a deadline on it he can take it.”

Listen to the type of language being used. As far as bringing the righty back, Cherington said twice that Boston is keeping "the door open." And yet, if Papelbon gets an offer he likes from another team, "he can take it."

It doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for bringing Papelbon back. The Red Sox might be more interested in promoting Daniel Bard to closer and bringing in some relievers, which would allocate more money to the team to address the starting rotation and right field. Still, it's a bit surprising the Red Sox don't seem all that hurried to strike a deal with Papelbon, which could cost them the closer. Papelbon's agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, are known for working quickly while Cherington is noted to be patient.

Nothing here precludes the franchise leader in saves from re-signing in Boston, and it's possible the Red Sox are intentionally downplaying their interest in Papelbon, but it's still notable how little interest Boston seems to have.

Hot stove report: Boston interested in Carlos Beltran

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Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:50 pm

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

I hope Boston re-signs him, even if he does want something crazy like 14 or 15 million per season. What did they expect after giving him $12 million despite having a not-good 2010? Plus, I don't know how many other suitors out there are willing to pay Papelbon that amount of money either. The Yankees have 2 or 3 possible closers in Rivera, Soriano, and Robertson, so they don't need him, the Phillies won't need him if Madison is resigned. Would the Rangers or Cardinals be willing to pay Papelbon that money?

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:49 am

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

After watching Daniel Bard in Aug/Sep, I could see he was clearly favoring his shoulder/elbow. He was throwing at more of a 3/4 arm angle and sometimes even looked as if he was pushing the ball to the plate. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bard need Tommy John surgery before the All-Star break. Papelbon is a huge part of the Sox bullpen, who has proven he can pitch at Fenway/ AL East, without him the pen falls way short.

On a side note: If the Red Sox dont sign him, it "leaves  the door open" for Toronto to slide in, which has money to spend this year with the Tv deal it signed. Just saying, watch this years hot stove carefully. 

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 8:27 am

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

Reading that, I'd almost be surprised to see Cherington re-sign Papelbon, but who knows what the rest of the context of the conversation was. My guess is that Cherington is not willing to pay Papelbon market value if Ryan Madsen does in fact sign that four year, 44 million dollar deal (with an option) in Philly. Like many reporters stated yesterday, Papelbon's agents have a legit argument for more than what Madsen gets and that may cause several teams to balk at Pap. The only thing I'd put money on for sure if that Papelbon doesn't sign anything until after Madsen and/or another closer have signed deals and set the market. 

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:04 am

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

He's still good.
That is true, unless of course, the season is on the line. His history with that over the last few years hasn't been so great.

Pap wants to break the bank and he's earned the right but I view closers similar to running backs in the NFL-- they are both very unpredictable from year to year and most flame out after a couple of good seasons, only to be replaced by some unheralded guy who comes out of nowhere and puts up similar stats. Pap is obviously one of the few guys in the game with a proven track record but it's possible that the Sox feel comfortable enough with Bard taking over to let Pap chase a huge contract elsewhere.

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:22 pm

Are Red Sox even interested in Papelbon?

Somebody is interested and will take him.
He's still good. 

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