Papelbon Is Shipping Down To Philly

Pap.jpgBy Courtney Swift –11/12/11
Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon is leaving the Fenway Faithful for Philadelphia. Papelbon has reportedly signed a four-year $50 million deal with the Phillies. It supposedly includes a vesting option for 2016. If this is true, this will be the largest contract ever for a relief pitcher.
Papelbon’s departure comes after seven years with the Sox and one World Series title. During his six-season tenure with Boston, he saved 219 games. That is the most in team history. He is also a four-time All-Star. Red Sox set-up man Daniel Bard is now seen as the likely successor to be the closer.
Last season Papelbon had 31 saves as well as a 2.94 ERA in 63 appearances. Because Pap is a Type A free agent, the Red Sox will receive Philadelphia’s first-round draft pick along with a supplemental pick.
There is a large pool of closers in the free agent market if the Sox decide to test the waters. Potential names for the Sox to consider include Heath Bell, Joe Nathan, and Ryan Madson who closed for the Phillies last season.