I’m stealing this directly from MLBTR.com (Major League Trade rumors):
Once the regular season ended, the Elias Sports Bureau took all players over the 2010-11 period, divided them into five groups for each league, and ranked them based on various statistics. Each player was labeled a Type a, B, or none. those designations and the possible accompanying arbitration offers determine draft pick compensation. If a Type a free agent turns down an arbitration offer and signs a Major League deal elsewhere the losing team gets two draft picks, one of them coming from the new team. If a Type B free agent turns down an arbitration offer and signs a Major League deal elsewhere the losing team gets one draft pick in the supplemental round, and it doesn’t come from the new team. Keep in mind that an arbitration offer is necessary for draft pick compensation.
The numbers beside the players’ names represent their rankings. if teams sign more than one Type a free agent, one team gets a top compensation pick and other teams lose out. The team losing the highest-ranked free agent obtains the best pick the signing team can offer and other teams fall in line behind the team that loses the top-ranked player.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jonathan Papelbon can do his Irish Jig on Broad Street.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the Philadelphia Phillies and Papelbon have agreed to a $50 million, four-year contract that’s the largest ever for a reliever. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the deal had not yet been announced and is subject to Papelbon passing a physical.
Papelbon, who turns 31 on Nov. 23, had 219 saves over seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, including 31 this year, when he made $12 million. He will replace Ryan Madson, who also is a free agent.
The previous high for relievers had been $47 million, with B.J. Ryan agreeing to a five-year contract with Toronto before the 2006 season and Joe Nathan getting a four-year deal from Minnesota in March 2008.
Papelbon’s deal includes an option for 2016 that could become guaranteed based on games finished and would make the deal worth $63 million over five seasons.
Madson’s agent, Scott Boras, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. were close to a $44 million, four-year deal on Monday. but the person familiar with Papelbon’s deal said Amaro told Boras the following day that team president Dave Montgomery wouldn’t approve the deal. That offer included a vesting option that would have taken the contract to $57 million over five years.
The Phillies have long been opposed to giving pitchers contracts beyond three years. They made an exception last year when they signed left-hander Cliff Lee to a $120 million, five-year deal.
The right-handed Papelbon, a four-time All-Star, helped the Red Sox to the 2007 World Series title. He donned a kilt and danced his trademark Irish jig at the championship celebration.
Papelbon can do whatever he likes if he can help the Phillies secure another World Series title. Philadelphia has won five straight NL East titles and is seeking its second Series victory since 2008. The Phillies lost in the World Series to the new York Yankees in 2009, were eliminated in the NLCS in 2010 and got knocked out in the NL division series this year.
Madson was outstanding in his first year as the team’s closer, converting 32 of 34 chances. He was Brad Lidge’s setup man for the previous three years, and spent his first nine seasons in Philadelphia. Madson was 47-30 with a 3.59 ERA and 52 saves in 491 career games, including 18 starts.
Papelbon, a starter in the minor leagues, has converted 88.3 percent of his save opportunities to go with a 23-19 record and a 2.33 ERA in 396 career appearances. He had a career-high 41 saves in 2008.
Signing a closer and re-signing former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins were Philadelphia’s top two offseason priorities. Rollins, a three-time All-Star shortstop, wants to return to the Phillies and the team wants to bring him back at the right price.
Papelbon is a Type A free agent, meaning the Phillies will have to forfeit their first draft pick in next year’s amateur draft to Boston — unless that rule changes in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Papelbon, the first major free-agent signing this year, is the first player to leave the Red Sox in a turbulent offseason that began with the departure of manager Terry Francona and was followed by general manager Theo Epstein going to the Chicago Cubs. David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew, Tim Wakefield and Erik Bedard also are free agents.
“Pap has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “We knew he was going to be in demand. we knew teams in a position to win would have an interest, and Philadelphia is one of those teams.”
Papelbon blew a save on the final day of the regular season to complete Boston’s monumental collapse that led to all those changes. The Red Sox led the AL East for much of the season and held a nine-game lead over Tampa Bay in the wild-card race on the morning of Sept. 4. but Boston went 7-20 in September to blow the lead and miss the playoffs entirely. Papelbon was one strike away from securing a win against the Orioles in the final game before giving up two runs in Baltimore’s 4-3 win.
AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum in new York and Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed to this report.
Though I’m perceived as the resident stats guy by some of my peers, I’d argue that I’m more nostalgic about baseball than anything else. Come to think of it, I’m long overdue for another misty paean to Fred Lynn or Butch Hobson and the summer of ’78. (“In the cool autumn shade beneath a monstrous wall of green, Jack Brohamer hit a routine grounder to third base …”)
But even with that awareness of my incurable sentimental sensibilities, I’m surprised by my initial reaction to the news that Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox’ closer through six full seasons and a feature film’s worth of good times and bad, is set to join the Philadelphia Phillies: I’m much more bummed than I thought I’d be.
Practically — sabermetrically — the decision to let the soon-to-be-31-year-old closer depart is a logical one, particularly if the terms of his deal with Philadelphia approach the fiscally ridiculous four-year, $44 million offer they reportedly made to incumbent closer Ryan Madson, a player three months older than Papelbon and not nearly as accomplished.
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It’s been well-established that closers not named Mariano Rivera typically have a short shelf-life, are often volatile from season to season, and for the workload that they handle, really should not be paid much more than $5 million per season. Given that the Red Sox got the best of Papelbon at reasonable rates (though he did throw strikes in arbitration, earning $12 million in 2010) and the Phillies are likely to be overpaying for his decline whether it’s steep or subtle, letting him go now will probably prove a prudent business decision by the Red Sox.
Eventually, it will prove a prudent baseball decision as well. But right now, on November 11, it doesn’t feel that way, and it probably won’t for a while. After the Red Sox’ historic September collapse — a meltdown in which he can’t claim innocence, given that it’s now assured that the last image of Papelbon in a Boston uniform is one him trudging off the mound, ashen-faced and staring daggers through the ground, after getting Andinoed yet again in the 162d and final game of the season — we entered the offseason with the quaint notion that the priority should be bringing in more high-quality players who thrived in the spotlight.
Despite his ugly final scene — Papelbon must still catch himself muttering, “Robert [Expletive] Andino?” every now and then — a high-quality player who thrived in the spotlight is an accurate description of his time in Boston. He arrived in 2005 as a starting pitcher who answered to Jon, and 6 1/2-years later he departs a decorated if recently dented closer whose request to be called Jonathan never quite jibed with his goofy and informal manner away from the mound.
In between, he did so much. He showed promise as a starter from his 2005 debut against the Twins, but it soon became evident that his calling — and his preference — was to be a closer. He came to the rescue after all the evidence was compiled that his predecessor, Keith Foulke, would never be the same after sacrificing his career for a championship during the 2004 postseason, and he was electric and elite from the beginning. as a rookie in 2006, he compiled a season that fell somewhere between ’78 Goose Gossage and Vintage Eck on the Unhittable Closer Scale, finishing with a 0.92 ERA, 35 saves, and 0.77 WHIP, and an ungodly 517 adjusted ERA.
The next season, he struck out 13 batters per nine innings, saved 37 more games with a 1.85 ERA, and created the image that will stay with us long after those snapshots from September 2011 have faded. it was Papelbon who got the final out to clinch the Red Sox’ second World Championship in four years. And it was Papelbon who got the party started, and no doubt kept it going long after the champagne-soaked cameras had been dried off and put away. He carried himself in those ninth innings as if invincibility were his birthright, and his record suggested he might have been on to something: In his first 26 postseason innings, spread over four season, seven playoff series, and 17 games, he did not allow a single run.
Of course, invincibility never lasts in sports if you’re around long enough, and just glance toward Foxborough if you need confirmation. There was a time not so long ago when Tom Brady was 10-0 in playoff games. now he gets asked why he hasn’t led his team to a playoff win since 2007. Papelbon’s rude awakening that flawlessness was only temporary came during the Game 3 of the 2009 American League Division Series against the Angels, when he gave up the tying run in the eighth, melted down in the ninth, and took the loss in the final game of the season. He hasn’t had a chance to redeem himself in the postseason since.
That chance will come with the Phillies. Philly is a great place for him, a big, high-pressure market with a stacked rotation and a talented veteran team. it probably won’t feel much different to him from Boston.
But Fenway will feel different without him, and not only because closers who dance around with 12-pack boxes on their heads and weren’t shy about breaking out the kilt every now and then tend to leave a lasting impression. He’s going to be hard to replace on the field. The days of perfection are gone, but he was still pretty damn good in 2011, trusting his secondary pitches more, lowering his WHIP to below 1.00 while striking out more than 12 batters per inning. Robert Andino may disagree, but he’s still one of the toughest closers around, and whoever replaces him — Heath Bell? Jonathan Broxton? — has a lot to live up to.
Should it be the obvious in-house option, Daniel Bard, that leaves a significant hole in the relief ace role he filled so well (again, until September, the caveat for every pitcher not named Alfredo Aceves). it also probably eliminates the chance of Bard converting to a starter, an appealing possibility given his outstanding stuff and the need to eliminate any possibility that Tim Wakefield will be getting a regular turn in 2012.
Ben Cherington has said all the right things since taking over as general manager. He’s done a remarkable job, with his openness and candor, of revealing his baseball acumen and allowing fans put the ugly fallout of September behind them. But the most important part of his job is ahead: supplementing a talented but flawed roster. The Red Sox are not a better team than they were yesterday. Knowing that, all we can do is wait to learn his what his plan is, to discover through his transactions whether he can do the right things as well.
Practically, yes, letting Jonathan Papelbon go is the right move. Sentimentally, it’s stings to know that jersey of one the players responsible for a championship here will be found on the 75-percent-off-rack come spring. But all the answers won’t be available until the games begin. or more appropriately, when they need to be finished.
Six weeks to go until the MLB postseason kicks off and the races couldn’t be more exciting. This week’s MLB review takes a look at the contenders in each division as well as the wild card leaders and labels each team’s chances of winning the World Series based on personal odds. Frankly, this is the most I have enjoyed baseball this late into the season.
That primarily has to do with the parity this year. Personally, I cannot stand to see the same teams in playoffs each year. I despise New York Yankees fans that think their team is God’s Gift to Baseball. Same goes for Red Sox fans. I’m glad they got Boston a title. however, ever since, the so-called ‘Red Sox Nation’ is way too over-hyped. I can understand the bunch of bandwagoners across the country that jumped on this team’s coattail, but in all seriousness, not many west of the Mississippi River even care about this team.
Not many see the Cincinnati Reds making noise in the playoffs, but how can you not enjoy this team’s success minus a payroll and big time players? The Tigers steamrolled critics all year and have yet to show signs of crashing, despite a small current losing streak. The Twins have been tremendous, as they overcame an awful start to climb into the heart of the AL wild card race. And as far as the Mets go, it’s understandable not to give the NL credit because of its overall weakness, but the ‘Amazins are arguably one of the favorites to win the World Series.
Oh, and save all the Albert Pujols and David Wright MVP hype. Jose Reyes is the clear-cut winner to this point. Coming into Sunday Reyes is second in the majors in runs with 95, he has 11 home runs and 55 RBI from the lead-off spot, and he is first in the majors with 15 triples and 49 stolen bases and is the catalyst with 140 hits at the top of one of the best offenses in baseball.
New York Yankees: 5/1
The Bombers have flourished after its trade to acquire Abreu and Lidle. however, the Yanks need more quality starts beyond Mussina and Wang.
As good as David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have looked this past month, the starting rotation has been inconsistent and closer Papelbon has shown he is indeed human.
Bottom line is Detroit has been the best team all year. they should be the favorite in the AL until they bow out. Last year’s version of the unproven White Sox.
Chicago White Sox: 6/1
Rebounded nicely after falling 10 games back of Detroit. now they sit only 5 back after sweeping them this weekend. Back-to-back is a strong possibility.
Minnesota Twins: 18/1
Any chance of Minnesota making the playoffs went out the door went Liriano went on the DL.
My personal spring training pick to make the World Series. not likely to get there but they are peaking in the right month.
Los Angeles Angels: 15/1
Tough news when Colon went down for the year. not enough offense to boost a team that failed to make a move for Alfonso Soriano.
With Pedro and Glavine they have a solid 1-2 punch. Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado lead a deadly offense ready to carry them through the Fall Classic.
St. Louis Cardinals: 10/1
Not the team from a couple of years ago. Pujols seems like he is always on point, however the rest of the team lacks the necessary swagger.
Cincinnati Reds: 20/1
They have the offense to win a series in the playoffs. however Aaron Harang doesn’t have the prowess of a postseason ace.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 12/1
The front office made some great additions with Maddux, Lugo and Betemit. With enough hitting, pitching will be the question. Is there enough behind Cy Young candidate Brad Penny?
Arizona Diamondbacks: 25/1
A great chance to find a way into the wild card’s top spot. however a date with the Mets would send them packing.
San Diego Padres: 25/1
Could win the division or the wild card or manage to miss out on both. With ace Jake Peavy under .500 and not on top of his game, San Diego will be stuck at home after September.
It’s been just over a week since free agency commenced in baseball, and already Met fans are either depressed or panic stricken. Was that Jose Reyes performing “no Hay Amigo” at a South Beach nightclub in Miami last night? Was that Jose sliding down the chute with Bernie Brewer at Miller Park? Why haven’t the Mets made an offer?
Look, I don’t know if there’s any club that will offer Reyes a 6 or 7-year deal, but the Mets will not, nor should they. They are waiting for the market to form for a difficult player to judge - extremely talented, dynamic game-changer, yet physically brittle at times. The Mets know what they are willing to pay for Reyes, and if I had to speculate it’s within the parameters of 4 years plus an option in the $80-90 million range.
Everyone points to the Mets ownership’s financial woes as the reason the front office is taking this tack, but it has as much to do with the $55-57 million that is due to just 3 players - Johan Santana, Jason Bay and David Wright - in 2012, which is already half the budget projected for next season. Thus the wait-and-see, cat-and-mouse approach.
What the Mets have to concentrate on is improving their pitching, especially the bullpen, which includes targeting a reasonably priced closer for 2012. They also have to be cognizant of the tender deadline, which comes after the Winter Meetings on December 12, to make decisions on Mike Pelfrey and Angel Pagan in particular.
As for closers, Heath Bell and Ryan Madson will not be toiling at CitiField, nor will Jose Valverde or Kyle Farnsworth who had their options picked up, and the Mets will see plenty of Jonathan Papelbon, unfortunately in a Phillies uniform. But there is value out there with people who have done it well in the past.
There’s Joe Nathan, a 37-year old New York area guy who’s 2 years removed from Tommy John surgery and has already stated that the Mets are on his radar, as well as 35-year old Brad Lidge. Both guys need to re-establish themselves after various arm ailments, both are quality character persons who could aid in the maturing of a Bobby Parnell, and both had hefty club options ($12 1/2 million) for 2012.
On the younger side, there’s Matt Capps and Jonathan Broxton, both 28. As with Capps, Broxton - who notched 36 saves in 2009 - has been and would be willing to be an 8th inning man as well. Toronto and at least 6 other teams have inquired about Broxton, but the Mets have yet to do so. And very much like the market for Reyes, the closer market will likely take some time to sort out and form.
The tender deadline presents arbitration-eligible players and what to do with Pelfrey and Pagan in particular. Pelfrey will command a salary in the $5 1/2 to 6 million range, while Pagan will probably settle in the $4.7 or 4.8 range. For a pitcher whose bread-and-butter pitch is his sinker, Pelfrey gave up way too many home runs (21) last year and how the new outfield dimensions at CitiField will affect him or any of the other pitchers is anybody’s guess.
But Chris Capuano has likely priced himself out of the Mets’ budget for next season, and although there’s great hope that Johan Santana will return to form, there’s still a lot of fingers crossed behind backs. Pelfrey is 27 and durable, and he did win 15 games in 2010 with a strained right rotator cuff. He has averaged 196 innings per season since 2008, and 200 inning pitchers are hard to discard. The Mets need some certainty while the Wheelers and Harveys go through their maturation process.
Pagan is definitely not a favorite of the front office, and he ticked off numerous teammates this season with his absences from supposed injuries. That’s before mentioning his sub-par play in general in centerfield, along with his scattershot throwing arm. But the CF market is not great. Grady Sizemore has suffered one injury after another - Coco Crisp would rather stay put on the West Coast - Rick Ankiel and Cody Ross seem better suited to be part-time or platoon players - Nate McLouth has disappointed since being traded by the Pirates to Atlanta in 2009.
Pagan did have a lot of “at-em” balls last season as he produced the highest line-drive rate of his career, and his defense should improve with the new tighter dimensions at CitiField.
It’s all stuff that the Mets will have to process as they search to finalize a roster for 2012. And it will likely take some time as they let the market come to them.
Notes on the way out:
– Defensive outfielder Jason Pridie and utilityman Nick Evans were dropped off the 40-man roster. They are expected to clear waivers, and both have the right to declare free agency. The Mets now have 32 players on the 40.
– I thought the versatile Willie Bloomquist might be a good bench addition for the Mets, but he re-signed with the Diamondbacks for 2 years at $3.8 million, probably a little too rich for the Mets.
– For the first time since 1996, the Mets and Yankees will play each other during spring training in Florida. The two teams will play in Port St. Lucie on April 3, then meet the next day at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa before the Mets head to New York to open the season against the Atlanta Braves.
Previously I had mentioned the benefits of using relief pitchers in fantasy baseball. Baseball managers often use their relief pitchers in situations (including spot starts) that exploit the advantages of those pitchers. For example, if a particular reliever has a great deal of success against right-handed batters, the manager may only use him in those situations. this can lead to some pretty good statistics for your fantasy baseball team. in addition, if a reliever gets favorable spot starts in the rotation, this too can offer a nice statistical boost to your fantasy roster. also, with the closing pitcher situation often in flux on many teams throughout the major leagues, relief pitchers may be in line to take over the ninth inning role at any time.
Let’s take a look at a few relief pitchers who may give your fantasy baseball team a much-needed shot in the arm (pun intended):
Daniel Bard (BOS) -
The closer-in-waiting for the Red Sox, Bard throws hard. Really, really hard in fact. with an average fastball of 97.9 MPH, he is the perfect candidate for the 9th inning role in Beantown. if Jonathan Papelbon falters, Bard will step into the role. in the meantime, enjoy the WHIP, Ks and ERA he will bring to your pitching staff.
Mike Adams (SD) -
With closer Heath Bell’s status in question for several seasons now (rumors persist that the Padres will trade him), Adams is the heir apparent for collecting saves in San Diego. For 4 seasons now, Adams has been one of the best set-up men in the major leagues. Dependable, consistent and reliable to hold a game close, Adams has put up a 1.81 ERA from 2008-2010. with a 1.17 ERA and 0.62 WHIP, 2011 is shaping up to be more of the same.
Jonny Venters (ATL) -
Craig Kimbrel may be the primary closer for the Braves, but Venters is the premier set-up man in the game. with a 0.80 WHIP and 0.62 ERA, Venters has also been picking up a few saves recently. this is reminiscent of the Duane Ward-Tom Henke situation with the Toronto Blue Jays in the late 1980′s-early 1990′s.
Tyler Clippard (WAS) -
After leading the major leagues in relief wins in 2010 with 11, Clippard leads MLB with 19 holds in 2011. Add to that an impressive 53 Ks in 41.2 IP, 1.94 ERA and.91 WHIP and you have one of the better relief pitchers in the game today.
Koji Uehara (BAL) -
Remaining healthy has been the issue with Uehara, but when he pitches, he does so effectively. Kevin Gregg may be the current closer in Baltimore, but with a career ERA of 4.00 and history of bouncing from team-to-team, there is no guarantee Gregg holds down the job all season. Don’t forget, in 2010 Uehara took over the closer’s role in August and converted 13 of 15 save opportunities.
Regardless of which approach you take to filling out your fantasy baseball pitching roster, always keep in mind the benefit that a solid relief pitcher can bring to your team. They are often the forgotten men in baseball and in the fantasy world. by being one of the few fantasy owners to think of adding a relief pitcher to the mix, you just might be giving your fantasy baseball team the edge it needs.
The only thing harder to find than a catcher who doesn’t ruin your fantasy numbers is a solid reliever that you can count on game after game. the real teams that have books of scouting reports and a committee of able bodies have enough trouble; it’s even harder when all you have is a computer and some statistics. That’s why it’s always important to keep an eye on who’s hot in the bullpens right now for your Daily Fantasy Baseball League.
Jose Valverde, Detroit. Valverde has been the definition of lights out this season. What’s not to like? He’s sporting a.42 ERA, with 11 saves and just one home run allowed in 21 innings. He pitches in non-save situations more than most closers, but if you have him and another reliable closer, you should be in good shape.
Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles. LA does so many things well; the movies are hits, the women are beautiful, and the closers are dominant. so it’s not surprising that the Dodgers have yet another big time closer in Jonathan Broxton. He has the fifth-most strikeouts of any reliever in the bigs (actually a surprisingly low number for him) and a microscopic 1.07 ERA. Oh, and he’s playing on one of the hottest teams in baseball, one that frequently comes through with walk-off wins. If Joe Torre keeps putting him in for the ninth inning in any close game, he’ll start adding some useful win totals to his overall value. the Dodgers didn’t perform well out of the gate but are surging now; expect his numbers only to improve along with the team.he lead the MLB with 12 saves in the month of May.
Matt Belisle, Colorado. People who continue to shy away from Colorado pitchers are straight-up out of the loop at this point. It’s not 1998- balls aren’t flying out of any park as much any more (how many perfect games and no-hitters have we had this year?) and Colorado has taken a number of steps to keep balls in the yard. so owners who have the stones to put reliever Matt Belisle on their roster have been rewarded with some impressive stats. His ERA for the season is just over 2.00, and it was half of that in the month of May. He’s not the official closer, but Manny Corpas hasn’t been other-wordly this year, so it’s a definite possibility. If you need holds or just a smaller ERA, Belisle is as hot as anyone in baseball and a great fit for your daily fantasy baseball league.
Heath Bell, San Diego. Bell is the model for closers in today’s game. He’s big, he throws hard, and no one scores on him. I mean, no one. His ERA is among the lowest in baseball (1.13) and he has 14 saves in 24 appearances. He strikes out a bunch of people, he plays for a division-leading club, he’s even got a great baseball name. You can’t go wrong with Heath Bell, and you won’t have to pay Mariano Rivera- or Jonathan Papelbon-esque prices to get him.
Brian Wilson, San Francisco. What is it with these NL West relievers? maybe it’s something in the water out west, but it’s hard to find a bad apple in the bunch (oh, wait, except for everyone in Arizona’s pen. We’ll just ignore them.) Wilson’s personality is as weird as his breaking pitches, and batters just haven’t been able to get a good feel for him. He’s one of the brightest young stars of San Francisco’s post-Bonds era and has a number of good years ahead of him. His numbers are very comparable to Broxton’s, and you likely can get him on your roster without giving up your left leg. Wilson is a solid addition to any bullpen. and finally.
Mariano Rivera, new York. look, you know he’s good, he knows he’s good, the batters know he’s good, the whole world knows he’s good. Sure, he’s getting on in years, but his cutter is still breathtaking and he still plays for the Yankees. You’ll pay top dollar for close-to-top production, but at the end of the day, he’s Mariano Freaking Rivera. If you’re in a one-day league, take him against any light-hitting team and he’ll likely pay off. In longer leagues, pair him with another top-10 closer and you’ll rarely lose the saves or ERA stat. just do it.
He’s shipping out of Boston.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com is stating a Phillies have an agreement with closer Jonathan Papelbon tentative a physical. The understanding is believed to be 4 years as well as tighten to $50 million with a vesting choice for a fifth season.
It would be a jot down package for a reliever.
Papelbon was a biggest closer in Red Sox history, saving 219 games over 7 seasons as well as 7 some-more in a postseason. The hard-throwing righthander was a air blower favorite, entrance out of a bullpen in a ninth inning to scowl during batters as well as roughly constantly secure a victory.
But distinct multiform of his teammates, Papelbon incited down a event to pointer a long-term stipulate with a Red Sox, starting year to year with a idea of distinguished it large in giveaway agency. He appears to have achieved that.
“I wish to see what’s out there for myself,” Papelbon told a Globe upon Sept. 10 prior to a diversion during Tampa Bay. “this is my job, it’s veteran baseball, man. you try as well as get a most appropriate understanding we can. at a finish of a year, it’ll be a commercial operation decision.”
Papelbon, who turns 31 after this month, was a four-time All-Star as well as authorised usually 3 warranted runs in twenty-seven postseason innings. all 3 of those runs came in Game 3 of a 2009 Division Series opposite a Angels during Fenway Park. The Red Sox have not been behind in a postseason since.
Papelbon dominated in a 2007 postseason, throwing 10.2 scoreless innings over 7 appearances as well as assisting a Red Sox to a World Series championship.
In 26-year-old Daniel Bard, a Red Sox would crop up to have a ready replacement. Bard has a 2.88 warranted run normal in 192 career coming as well as has been a initial set-up male for a last dual seasons. He has struck out 213 in 197 innings.
Free representative closers embody Ryan Madson (who a Phillies were negotiating to keep prior to branch to Papelbon) Joe Natham, Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez as well as Jonathan Broxton.
But in any case of Bard’s intensity or signing an additional closer, a detriment of Papelbon is a poignant one. The quirky righthander stood up to a pressures of a American League East as well as shutting for a big-market team. He was a initial pitcher in story with 35 or some-more saves in his initial 5 full seasons.
He was a free-spirit in a clubhouse, dubbing himself “Cinco Ocho” (his unvaried number) as well as taking advantage of what during times seemed similar to a second personality.
“Cinco’s a total opposite person,” Papelbon pronounced in open precision prior to a 2011 season. “Not everyone sees him.”
In 2011, Papelbon converted 31 of 34 save opportunities as well as had a 2.33 ERA. but dual of his blown saves came in a last 9 days of a deteriorate as well as contributed to a team’s ancestral collapse.
Papelbon was during his misfortune in Game 162 during Baltimore. Called upon to strengthen a one-run lead, he got dual discerning outs prior to permitting dual doubles as well as a singular to remove a diversion as well as discharge a Red Sox from a playoffs.
He is a ultimate in a array of departures from a Red Sox. Manager Terry Francona left a group upon Sept. thirty as well as ubiquitous physical education instructor Theo Epstein quiescent Oct. 21. Now Papelbon has assimilated a pour out to a exit.
Papelbon was a Type a giveaway agent. Assuming giveaway representative remuneration manners stay a same underneath a brand new common negotiate agreement being negotiated, a Red Sox would embrace dual initial turn breeze picks in lapse for Papelbon.
Free-agent shortstop Ronny Cedeno, right, could fall into the Astros’ price range.(Pat Sullivan/AP)
Baseball’s big spenders are free to take their shot at sluggers Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder and shortstop Jose Reyes or, if they have a taste for the exotic and mysterious, Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish.
Those who aren’t blessed with unlimited budgets may prefer to comparison shop starting pitchers C.J. Wilson, mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt and Hiroki Kuroda, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, relievers Jon Papelbon and Heath Bell, outfielders Carlos Beltran and Grady Sizemore and sluggers such as David Ortiz and Aramis Ramirez.
Those of more limited means might find pitchers Paul Maholm, Aaron Harang and Freddy Garcia, outfielders Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham and Johnny Damon, first basemen Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman or infielders such as Clint Barmes, mark Ellis, Rafael Furcal and Ronny Cedeno to be more affordable.
Then there’s the Astros — a franchise in ownership limbo, taking the Spartan approach to roster construction. With the team coming off a 56-106 season and in a paring-the-payroll mode, general manager Ed Wade is in a position of essentially waiting to see what’s left when the heavyweights, middleweights and lightweights are finished free-agent shopping.
“As far as being out there and being aggressive on certain fronts, time and circumstance dictate we have to be a little more passive than we normally would be,” Wade said. “It’s all part of the cycle of where you are as a franchise and as a club. Trending toward a younger team, you want to pay attention to what’s happening on these various markets, and if an opportunity presents itself, be able to respond to it.”
Must fill Barmes’ shoes
Major League Baseball has spent more than five months vetting prospective owner Jim Crane, whose agreement to purchase the team from Drayton McLane for $680 million expires Nov. 30. Crane has been negotiating a settlement for a move from the National League to the American League, and MLB officials said Thursday they expect owners to approve the sale of the team Nov. 17.
Wade consulted with McLane and Crane before dealing outfielders Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn for a collection of prospects in July. With $45 million in salary commitments next season to first baseman Carlos Lee ($18.5 million) and pitchers Brett Myers ($11 million), Wandy Rodriguez ($10 million) and Brandon Lyon ($5.5 million), Wade has little to spend. Though Wade would like to bring back Barmes, who earned $3.92 million last season, Astros economics and the market forces make it unlikely.
Barmes, 32, batted .244 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs in 123 games and is considered one of the top defensive shortstops in the majors. By the FanGraphs Wins above Replacement measure, Barmes was the 12th-best shortstop in the majors last season — and third only to Reyes and Rollins among the free agents.
Because Barmes is a Type B free agent, the Astros would receive a supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds in 2012 if he signs elsewhere by Nov. 23. If Barmes is unsigned at that point, the Astros would have to offer salary arbitration to remain eligible for the supplemental pick.
“I resisted trading him at the deadline because of the way he was playing and what he brought to the club from the standpoint of leadership ability with all those young guys we have, particularly the infielders,” Wade said. “We knew there was a possibility he would achieve compensation status, and he just barely did. It’s an added benefit.”
The next shortstop in the Astros’ line of succession is Angel Sanchez, acquired in a 2010 trade with Boston for minor league catcher Kevin Cash. Sanchez, 28, turned in a .240/.305/.285 batting average/on-base/slugging line last season while showing below-average range at short.
The Astros consider Class AA Corpus Christi shortstop Jonathan Villar, 20, a potential everyday player of the future, just not in 2012. Wade tried to shore up the depth at that position Thursday, making a waiver claim on Washington infielder Brian Bixler.
With few in-house alternatives, Wade said the team continues to have internal discussions about moving third baseman Jimmy Paredes to shortstop. Paredes, 22, made the move from second base to third last season at Corpus Christi, where he batted .270 and made the Texas League All-Star team. After making the jump to the majors, Paredes batted .286 while committing five errors in 46 games (44 starts) at third base.
“I’d hate to throw that at the kid after making the transition from second to third,” Wade said. “But shortstop is an area where, if we don’t have Clint back, we’re going to have to pay attention to see if there are ways to build more depth. … This kid’s skill set fits in a lot of different ways.”
Scouring the minors
One way to reshape the roster would be finding a taker — against all odds — for Lee or Myers. The Astros also have interest in shopping Rodriguez, whom they pulled off waivers in August after Colorado made a claim.
The Astros will scour the list of six-year minor league free agents — a process that netted them reliever Fernando Rodriguez and catcher Carlos Corporan last offseason.
Wade also will wait to see what shortstops — and catchers and pitchers for that matter — slip through the cracks in free agency or as contract non-tenders. among the shortstops who have the potential to fall into the Astros’ price range are Ronny Cedeno, Jack Wilson, Alex Gonzalez, Jamey Carroll, Yuniesky Betancourt, Cesar Izturis, Edgar Renteria and Willie Bloomquist.
“There are going to be some pretty good guys left on the board after the first of the year who would be attractive,” Wade said. “I still think there will be opportunities to do some things on the trade front and the free-agent front.”
HITS AND MISSES
Free-agent signings under Astros general manager Ed Wade:2B Kaz Matsui, November 2007: three years, $16.5 million.IF Geoff Blum, November 2007: one year, $1.1 million.RHP Doug Brocail, November 2007: one year, $2.5 million.3B Aaron Boone, December 2008: one year, $750,000.LHP Mike Hampton, December 2008: one year, $2 million.OF Jason Michaels, December 2008: one year, $750,000.C Ivan Rodriguez, March 2009: one year, $4.5 million.3B Pedro Feliz, December 2009: one year, $4.5 million.RHP Brandon Lyon, December 2009: three years, $15 million.RHP Brett Myers, January 2010: one year, $5.1 million (with 2011 option, later extended).LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith, December 2010: one year, $750,000.2B Bill Hall, December 2010: one year, $3.25 million