Sunday, January 23, 2011

Papelbon Still on the Block

Well, this is an interesting story line.  According to Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox are still very open to trading All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon.
7. Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, Red Sox — Jon Heyman of reported that the Sox considered dealing him to the White Sox or Oakland, but the $12 million salary nixed things. But a Red Sox source said this: Papelbon won’t be off-limits in spring training or during the season, no matter where the Sox are in the standings and whether Daniel Bard or Bobby Jenks is ready to take the closer job.
This really shouldn't be considered a surprise considering the ridiculous one year $12M contract Papelbon signed last week.  It wasn't all that long ago that he was one of the top two or three closers in the game.  Now?  Not so much.  After struggling with mechanics, inconsistent command, poor pitch selection, and an inability to avoid walks, Papelbon has stumbled into a second (or maybe even third) tier closer.  Second and third tier closers are nice, but they're not worth the salary he's going to be making in 2011.   

Trading Papelbon will prove to be extremely difficult for the Red Sox.  If they expect to get anything in return for the struggling closer, they're going to have to be willing to eat a sizable portion of the money he's owed.

In 2010, Papelbon went 5-7 with 37 saves in 45 chances, 3.51 FIP, 10.21 K/9, 2.71 K/BB, and 1.2 WAR.

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