Red Sox Haven’t Made Offer To Papelbon

As of today, players with expired contracts are eligible to file for free agency, but teams still have until Thursday at 12:01am ET to exclusively negotiate with their free agents. So far though, the Red Sox have yet to make a contract offer to closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to WEEI's Rob Bradford.

During his introductory press conference this week, Ben Cherington indicated there had been some dialogue with Papelbon and that he expects the two sides to continue to talk. However, the new Red Sox GM tells Bradford that he doesn't expect a contract to be signed before Thursday: "My impression is that Pap will probably get into free agency. I'm not ruling anything out, but that's my impression."

The Red Sox figure to offer Papelbon arbitration in November, so if the Type-A free agent does sign with another club, the Sox would snag two draft picks out of the deal. For a more in-depth look at Papelbon's free agent stock, check out MLBTR's Dan Mennella's piece from back in August.

47 Responses to Red Sox Haven’t Made Offer To Papelbon Leave a Reply

  1. dc21892 4 years ago

    Even if they do make an offer, you have to think Paps will test the market.

  2. Let Papelbum walk

    • jmcbosox 4 years ago

      let “papelbum” walk?  who will close?  if you say bard, fine, who will set up?  everybody in an already awful bullpen will be moved up 1 slot.  the bullpen is/was terrible and you wanna get rid of its most valuable piece?

      • Yeah it’s not like we can sign more relievers or anything.

        • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

          Yeah, and relievers are always reliable from year to year, so at least you’ll know what you’re getting. That Papelbon guy is so inconsistent. You guys should totally let him walk.

          • I’m not saying I dislike Papelbon or want him to walk. I’m just questioning the value of a 12 million dollar closer, especially with a rich market like this one.

      • The Red Sox bullpen had the highest WAR in baseball this year

  3. He’s going to go with the biggest contract no doubt about it.

  4. diehardmets 4 years ago

    Spending as much money as Pap will demand on a bullpen is almost always a terrible move. If Cherington is smart, he’ll stay away and get a lot of smaller name but solid guys along with a reclamation project or two and spend the rest of the money on SP. 

  5. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    I think Papelbon is as good as gone. The Red Sox have not made an offer because he probably has made it clear to them that he will test the market and if anyone gives him exactly what he’s looking for he will just leave.

  6. Lars Chunks 4 years ago

    With Madson likely staying with the Phillies and Bell likely staying with the Padres, the only other decent closer available is probably Francisco Rodriguez and he’ll want just as much as Papelbon.  In that case, you might as well just re-sign Papelbon.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Bard close, but who will replace him in the 8th?  They had enough trouble finding a 7th inning guy last year, let alone finding a replacement for Bard in the 8th.

    • Minorityfanbasewannabe 4 years ago

      Joe Nathan as a back up plan?

      • Lars Chunks 4 years ago

        Nathan already said he only wants to close, and I’d take Bard over Nathan if that’s the case.  Besides, Nathan is terrible at this point in his career.

        • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

          When you say, “Nathan is terrible at this point in his career,” I can only assume you mean Nathan Adcock of the Royals. If not, you didn’t watch Joe Nathan very often this season.

          And BTW…Nathan Adcock is going to be better next season. The Nathan you REALLY want to take a flier on, though, is Eovaldi.

  7. rockfordone 4 years ago

    where does Jenks fit in?

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      He fits in the buffet line, barely.

  8. notsureifsrs 4 years ago


  9. flickadave 4 years ago

    I’m a little puzzled about the people who think that Bard would make a good replacement if Papelbon leaves. So far Bard has 5 saves and FIFTEEN BLOWN SAVES. Some guys just aren’t meant to be closers. 

    That having been said, I would rather have the Sox go with a less expensive closer and use the cash left over to make a serious run at Sabathia. Between the money from JD Drew not being under contract anymore and using a cheaper closer, the Sox could offer CC a 6 year/$180 million deal without having to overextend themselves. I would rather have Sabathia and his 220+ innings a year and find another closer than have Paps and his 60+ innings and have a mediocre starter. The Sox would also hopefully pick up 2 draft picks from Paps signing elsewhere and, correct me if I am wrong, they wouldn’t have to surrender a pick if the signed Sabathia. Win-Win.

    • Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

      Bard is a cheaper closer. If Jenks can stay healthy, he could be pretty decent in the pen too. If Pap accepts arbitration, he’s likely to get 11 million anyway, so it’s really a win/win for him.

      • flickadave 4 years ago

        Yes, Bard is a cheaper closer but he has also converted exactly 25% of the save opportunities he has had. Not too confidence inspiring. At that rate, I would rather give any random AAA pitcher a shot. You can’t do much worse.

        Edit to say that there is also next to no chance that Paps accepts arbitration.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Almost every time a setup man is brought into the game he is in a situation where he can get a blown save but cannot get a save, so those numbers for a guy like Bard are meaningless. If you really want to compare something like that try Holds+Saves versus Blown Saves.

          • flickadave 4 years ago

            From the stats that I am looking at it looks like this:

            Year    Save opportunities    Saves       Blown saves
            2009            4                      1                3
            2010            10                     3               7
            2011            6                      1                5
            Total           20                     5                15

            What am I missing? Save opportunities are save opportunities. If the guy sucks in save situations he probably shouldn’t be a closer. If the same guy that sucks in save situations is great at holds, he should stay the setup guy. Who cares if your closer is good at hold situations because he probably won’t see many of them.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            I want to go back in time, find the guy who invented Saves, and punch him in the face.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            How many times does it need to be explained?  You can’t get a save
            without finishing the game, setup guys don’t often finish games, setup
            guys don’t often get saves.  On the other hand you CAN get blown saves without finishing games. 
            If you add holds into the equation you get a more complete picture (a
            hold is what you get if you are successful in a save situation without
            actually finishing the game) and when you add them in, Bard has been
            successful 85% of the time.

          • flickadave 4 years ago

            OK now go back and see how many of those blown saves actually were blown holds. It seems like every time Bard comes in in the 9th to “save” he gets pounded. I haven’t even touched the 5 win and 13 loss record that he has posted the last 3 years because I don’t know how many of the losses came when he entered a game with the score tied or when the Sox were ahead. I guess maybe I am drawing the conclusion that he wouldn’t be a good closer based on faulty memories but looking at Fangraphs it looks like Bard performs much better in less stressful situations.

            year           Shutdowns                Meltdowns              Clutch rating
            2009                11                           6                            -0.34
            2010                38                          10                             0.12
            2011                35                          11                            -1.01
            Total               84                           27                            -0.74

            You really think that having a guy that melts down that often and seemingly has a hard time in clutch situations is a good guy to have as your closer in Boston with as brutal as the fans and media can be?

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            You know which reliever had the highest Clutch rating (according to FG) in MLB this year? Chad freaking Durbin.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            “…maybe I am drawing the conclusion that he wouldn’t be a good closer based on faulty memories…”

            Yeah, it kinda seems that way.  I showed you that he converts those opportunities 85% of the time (Papelbon converts them at about 87% of the time) and you’re still looking for reasons that he’s not good enough.  Those clutch ratings are weak at best (and they’ve said so themselves on their site) especially for relievers where they have like 20 high leverage innings to base them off of, nothing has stabilized in 20 innings.

          • flickadave 4 years ago

            I’m not really looking for a reason. Really, I’m not. I have just been totally unimpressed with the closer work that I have seen Bard do in the past and I personally don’t think that he will be the great closer that most people think he will be. Hopefully I am totally wrong. I would love for the Sox to use all of the money they would save by not resigning Papelbon to go after the best starting pitching they can and still have a workable closer.

  10. John Pazniokas 4 years ago

    Counting blown saves for a setup guy is silly.  Setup guys have “blown save opportunities” every time they take the mound, but rarely have an opportunity to actually convert them into saves.

    – When a closer enters a game, it’s usually for either a “save” or a “blown save”.
    – When a setup guy enters a game, it’s usually for either a “blown save” or a “hold”, which nobody really cares about.

    That said, I’m not sure I want to lose Papelbon at this point.  The bullpen is too weak.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      I don’t know if that’s true. That’s why they keep track of Holds. How many times a reliever holds onto the lead (in what is a save situation if I’m not mistaken).

      Are you saying if Papelbon entered the game and got a save after Bard pitched the 8th (let’s say 1-2-3), Bard gets a blown save because he was taken out? There’s no way that possible.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        That’s not what he’s saying, he’s saying that setup guys either get a blown save or a hold, and never have a chance to get actual saves, so comparing a setup guy’s conversion rate to a closer’s conversion rate is silly.

        • MB923 4 years ago

          Ahh makes sense. Yes I completely agree, it’s ridiculous to use blown saves for set-up men. 

  11. Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

    I’d like to think Bard I ready, but his Sept collapse, doesnt assure me. If they are able to boost the bullpen, then they will likely let Pap walk. He’ll probably follow Theo to Chicago.

    • Lars Chunks 4 years ago

      That’s ridiculous thinking.  Why would Chicago want to give up draft picks to sign Papelbon when they’re trying to reload their farm system?  Not to mention they already have a closer in Marmol..

  12. Bard has Blown far to many “closing” situations in the 8th or earlier to make me feel comfortable with him being handed the reigns…If Bard comes in to begin the 8th and gives up a run and blows it, there is nothing wrong with pointing out that he has 15 blown saves and only 5 saves. Sure remove a few blown that he came in with the tying run on third but simple watch him and you know he has blown too many when starting an inning to anoint him better then Pap. Pap has only 15 blown saves in 4 years. 

    btw, with a 2-9 record he isnt exactly shutting them down in tight situations either.. He was getting loses not just blowing them.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      That’s not really how it works.  When a pitcher comes into the game in a “save” situation they can get a blown save without finishing the game, but they have to finish the game to actually get a save (if they don’t finish the game all the get is a “hold”).  A setup guy like Bard would be in the game in a save situation in the 8th inning almost every time out, so unless he comes back out for the 9th inning it is impossible for him to get a save, but not impossible for him to get a blown save.

  13. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Papelbon IMO will shop any serious LT offer much like Pedro Martinez did back in the winter of 2005. He is looking for top dollar and nothing short and Sox management understand this, they are going to let the market set his value, not Boston right away do that for the other teams and rightly so.

  14. NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

    My two top free agency predictions that I’m the most sure about are Pujols back to the Cardinals and Papelbon to the Phillies.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      I agree with those predictions and am going to throw in some of my own:

      Wilson to Washington
      Madson to Boston (trading places I guess)

      I’m 50/50 on Rollins to San Fransisco or Rollins to Philadelphia.

      • NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

        I can’t wait for the Top 50 predictions list to be published on here. I did my own and did halfway decent if I remember correctly.

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          Yeah I’m really looking forward to it, and this off season in general.

      • slider32 4 years ago

        I agree, Albert stays with the Cards, CC stays with the Yanks, Papelbon to the Phils, Reyes to the Marlins, Wilson to the Nats, Ortiz to the Jays, Fielder to the Nats, Rollins stays with the Phils, Beltran stays with the Giants, and the Yanks get Darvish.

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          I’m leaning towards Davarish to the Blue Jays or Rangers, especially if they lose Wilson. I like Fielder to the Nats.

          • Fielder to the Rangers.  As an Angels fan, I’m not crazy about that, but I’d be quite surprised if it doesn’t happen. Reyes to Detroit, CJ to Nationals, Yanks keep CC and get Darvish.  As far as the rotating wheel of closers goes, that’s anybody’s guess… 

  15. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    Got sand in unwanted places?

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