Phillies rescue Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon is heading to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Papelbon has received a four-year $50 million contract offer from the Phils, the richest ever for a reliever, topping the $47 million (five years) Toronto gave to B.J. Ryan in 2005. According to new Sox GM Ben Cherington, the Red Sox never made an offer to re-sign him and Pap’s agents Sam and Seth Levinson seemed in no hurry to give the Sox the chance to match the Phillies’ offer.

Papelbon was 31-for-34 in save opportunities with a 2.94 ERA and an 0.933 WHIP in 2011. And while many will consider the final image of his Red Sox career walking off the mound at Camden Yards after allowing a pair of two-out runs in game 162 which completed the flush of the September toilet, my memory will be of him being the stand up guy who had the opportunity to offer excuses, but he didn’t. He took responsibility and in 2011 showed growth on and off the field, a model that was clearly lost and out of place with his teammates.

There were many times in 2009 and 2010 when I thought that Papelbon was easily replaceable and the Red Sox would be better off without him. This morning, when I look at the large number of closers on the free-agent marketplace, I still feel that Papelbon is replaceable, I just don’t think they will be better without him.

Nine to Know about Jonathan Papelbon

Head on over to to see my Nine to Know with outstanding commentary by Corey Seidman.

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