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Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 3:44 pm
By Matt Snyder

Jonathan Papelbon is going to be changing organizations for the first time in his professional career. He has agreed in principle to sign with the Phillies for a four-year contract that approaches $50 million, pending a physical, according to Danny Knobler of The deal was first reported by Jim Salisbury of

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Phillies had agreed to a deal with incumbent closer Ryan Madson, but that situation fell apart, and several reports later this past week indicated the deal was never fully agreed upon and that the earlier reports jumped the gun. And when things started to fall apart, the Phillies shifted their focus to Papelbon.

Papelbon, 30, is a four-time All-Star and a much more established closer, with 219 career saves (to Madson's 52). The two pitchers are very similar in age (Papelbon is just under two months younger), but, again, Papelbon has a lot more experience as the ninth-inning guy.

Last season, Papelbon saved 31 of 34 chances with a 2.94 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. A move to the NL should help a bit, though the NL East should prove to be pretty tough next season.

As for Madson, he's left looking elsewhere, as he's surely looking for a closer's job and several teams are seeking an established closer. 


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Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:07 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 25, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 6:41 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

But, that and money aside, anyone is foolish to complain about having a Papelbon as his closer for the next few seasons.

ARGO: I wont say anything more about this subject. Obviously because you wont listen...Just watch him...he is not a $50 million, lights out will see this if you know anything about baseball. No sour grapes here I have been pushing for Bard to take over as a closer ofr 2 years now. he has 10 times the stuff as Papelbon. Don't you find it strange that Boston only paid him year to year? He is no where near the class of a Mo will see what I mean in time...wasted money.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:42 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Any way you look at this is an upgrade. Papelbon ranks higher than Madson on Any clsoer rankings.. He is about the same age and is way more consistant than Madson. Has more experience and will pitch better in the NL than he did in the AL. Nice job Phillies.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 12, 2011 4:00 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Considered where each player is at (Madson and Papelbon) in their career and their respective abilities, is it really an upgrade?  Not really
 Papelbon has 219 saves as compared to 52 for Madson. Papelbon has had 30+ saves for 6 straight years. Madson once. Papelbon has converted 88.3% of his save OPS. Madson has coverted 66.6%. The last 2 years it's 84%. They're both 31, so Ryan isn't even younger. Again, the numbers suggest upgrade. Again, remember, they're the same age.

You've obviously missed the entire point of my statement with your response.  AT THIS POINT in their career does not mean the entire compilation of their career's, it means where they are NOW.  Look at their 2011 seasons, and Madson's was better and has been a premier relief pitcher for a few years now.

Now if Madson signs for far less, perhaps you can argue value. However, performance-wise over their careers, Papelbon has clearly been better. Madson may turn out to be the better closer over the length of Papelbon's deal.
I would have simply gone with Madson do to the the value you would get with him, and lower injury risk.  I would never argue Papelbon's career status as a closer against Madson's, again I've been one of the biggest critics of Madson's 9th inning work and was dead set against him being the closer earlier this year and to his credit, Madson proved me wrong.  The simple fact is, Madson was more effective as a closer this year than Papelbon and Madson is no stranger to pressure situations late in game.  Before 2011, his stats were phenominal in the 8th inning, and pretty abysmal in the 9th.  In 2011, that changed and the dominance and consistentcy he used to display in the 8th inning, he did so in the 9th. 

But as of right now, Papelbon is the better closer due to his track record in the regular and post-season. Hence, an upgrade.
A contradicting statement if there ever was one.  You're comparing a two careers, in which most of the years are now irrelevant to the here and now.  The track record no doubt over the career is in Papelbon's favor, but what has been shown recently favors Madson and so therefore...not an upgrade.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 2:16 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Plus his attitude sucks.
Think he wanted to get out of Boston?  Hmm . . .have to think about that one . . .

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 2:00 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

You keep wishing the Sillies made the right choice by paying him that kind of money.   Red Sox fans watched his entire career .
Wow, I guess those grapes must be really sour, eh, NESportsmouth?  Well, all right, on the assumption they're not, I'll try to answer you seriously.  Yes, I know pitchers tend to lose their hard fastballs as they grow older.  But he's not exactly old, you know--n fact, he's about three months younger than Madson--and won't really be old for most of the length of this contract.  Yes, there's a calculated risk.  (And yes, I know he blew a save in the last game of the season that put you out of the playoffs.)  But I guess they think it's one worth taking. 
For the first time around, he may succeed with hitters in the NL that never faced him, but eventually they will catch up with his current fastball.
. . .Just like the AL hitters did, eh?  Where did he get those 219 saves, then?  Whatever mud you may sling at his "current fastball" (your term), all that matters is the results. 

Look, I'll be honest and say I would have been just as happy to keep Madson, who's a known quantity on our club.  But, that and money aside, anyone is foolish to complain about having a Papelbon as his closer for the next few seasons.

Since: Oct 2, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 1:56 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

The last 2 years, the Red Sox have went home in the same fashion:  Papelbon on the mound blowing a save to end the season.  Philly can have him for that kind of money.  His velocity is down and despite the save numbers he isnt the same player he was 3 years ago.  Plus his attitude sucks.  Good riddance.

Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: November 12, 2011 1:36 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Before you guys start doing any calculations and complaining that he's getting $12.5M per year, it's STATUS QUO from Lidge. Lidge is coming off 3 yrs @ $ the math, they are going from $12.5M per year from one closer to the other, no big deal. Madson earned his payday, just like Werth did, let him go get his money, i'll take the PROVEN closer with ICE running thru his veins.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 1:29 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

Mo had 278 saves his 1st 7 years.
b8b, how many Mo's are there?  And who's comparing either Madson or Papelbon with Rivera?  If you're saying that only a pitcher with Rivera's record is fit for the Phillies (or anyone else) to pursue and pay, it may be a mighty long wait.

Actually, you're helping me make my point (thanks for quoting the whole thing, by the way, so I don't have to).  I was responding to a poster who was perturbed by the fact that in his view Papelbon has only one good pitch (if that) and one mediocre one.  As long as you're bringing up Rivera, how many pitches does he have?  Only one, so far as I've ever heard.  (Yes, yes, I know, his pitch can last longer with age.  But Papelbon is more than 10 years younger, after all.) 

So, again, thanks for helping me make my point.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 12, 2011 1:29 pm

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

I haven't done the calculations, and I'm not sure how you came up with the $ 35 million figure.  But I don't know whether you've taken into consideration the fact that both Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard will be getting big raises for 2012 under their contracts, and I believe Carlos Ruiz gets a raise as well.  And of course Cole Hamels will undoubtedly get one in connection with arbitration.  Aren't these, together with the Papelbon contract, going to wipe out a lot of the financial flexibility?  (Unless they're willing to go over the luxury tax threshold, of course.)
Just a loose estimation, give or take 5mil.  Just with Lidge, Oswalt, and Ibanez gone...that's a lot of salary coming off the books, add Paps and you get about 30-35mil less than what they spent total for this year.  Of course, they still need to deal with Hamels and Pence, and decide what to do with SS.

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