Phillies Sign Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon's desire to set the market for closers was never a secret — it's now a reality. The Phillies have agreed to sign the 30-year-old to a precedent-setting four-year, $50,000,058 deal that establishes the record for guaranteed money for a reliever.  The Phillies announced the deal today, noting that Papelbon will continue to wear #58.

Papelbon

The contract includes a $13MM option for 2016 that vests with 55 games finished in 2015 or 100 in 2014-15, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The Phillies appeared to have a deal with Ryan Madson earlier this week, but talks fell through and the sides didn't complete the rumored four-year, $44MM deal. Papelbon's agents at ACES stepped in and the Phillies have their closer.

Papelbon posted a 2.94 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 64 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2011, saving 31 games. He's a Type A free agent who will cost the Phillies their first round draft pick in 2012, assuming the upcoming collective bargaining agreement doesn't change draft pick compensation for this offseason. Boston will obtain the 31st overall pick in next June's draft unless the Phillies sign an additional Type A free agent with a higher ranking than Papelbon. If the Phillies lose Madson to another team after offering him arbitration, they'll surrender one pick and gain two.

Papelbon is the first of MLBTR's top 50 free agents to sign. Check out MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker for the details. Bryan Grosnick examines the fantasy baseball implications of the move at CloserNews.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com first reported the deal and its terms. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, Jon Heyman of SI.com, Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM and others added detail.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.


323 Responses to Phillies Sign Jonathan Papelbon Leave a Reply

  1. MmmRocks 4 years ago

    Wow, you don’t catch a whole lot, do you?

  2. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    I actually think this is a smart signing by the Phillies because Heath Bell will eventually start going downhill and Paps could stay consistant into his mid 30’s

  3. bmoneyy20 4 years ago

    marmol to boston?

  4. Matt Talbert 4 years ago

    Heath Bell might argue that.  The closer’s market is nice and deep this year.  Cordero, Broxton (risk/reward – come cheaper) etc.  Come on.   This one of the deepest RP markets in years.

  5. PWNdroia 4 years ago

    He handles pressure the same way Papelbon did when he blew his saves, and the same way when Papelbon completes his saves.  Both have had ups and downs, Bard really isn’t as bad as you’re making him be.  Yes, Papelbon has more experience, but he comes at a price tag that isn’t worth it.

  6. jjthebrave 4 years ago

    Anyone who says they aren’t jealous of the Yankees having Mo is a liar.  Kimbrel had one hell of a year but needs 16-17 more like it to match Mo.  That’s called dominace my friend.  In my mind though, Kimbrel will be the saves leader one day.  Please let me dream

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      I don’t think he’ll get the saves record, but I think he’s got a shot at the reliever WAR record.

  7. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    It’s ok, I think I’m going 0/50.

    • EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

      We’ll be sharing a drink called “Failure to Predict the Destination of the Top 50 Free Agents” but it’s better than drinking alone.

  8. JST1331 4 years ago

    how do you change players uniforms, i’ve been trying to find out how to do it for months.

  9. grownice 4 years ago

     Jose Bautista’s contract is 5 years 65 million. Its hard not to laugh at the money these closers are getting especially in comparison to arguably the best hitter in the game right now.

  10. nestleraisinets 4 years ago

    when will the papeldance debut in philadelphia?

  11. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    He could challenge all he wants. Still nowhere good as Rivera.

  12. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    I don’t know why but I thought this was funny

  13. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    it’ll be taken by Bard or something

  14. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    because that makes totalllll sense for the A’s

  15. mozelpuffski 4 years ago

    i had pipe dreams of seeing him in a jays uni but not at this price… cant blame phillies as they have the need and cash with oswalt madson lidge off the books but is very risky

  16. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    It depends. If a bottom 15 team signs him, they’ll get a second round pick

  17. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I absolutely understand the significance of “bang per buck” when it comes to a teams resources vs spending but I will NEVER understand why “fans” of major big money teams would rather have 2 draft picks vs a player that has excelled at an important role, and to say that the role ISN’T an important one negates everything that Paps has done for the Sox. 

    Now, if you simply feel that he won’t be the same player over the next 4 years then that’s a different story. As an example, as much as I love Mo I wouldn’t want the Yanks to go beyond a 1 year deal IF he decided not to retire after 2012. But Paps is a different animal and the Sox have money to burn. 4/$50 mil is not THAT far off from his true market value to say “whew” I’m glad he’s gone IMO.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      The Red Sox owners have shown a virtual unwillingness to go more than a couple mil beyond the luxury tax threshold, so it’s not like there is an unlimited amount of money for them and the money saved actually will make a difference.  They don’t really have money to burn; they have 2 rotation spots, RF, the remainder of the BP, and at least one bench spot to fill in with ~ $30mm, giving almost half of that to Pap wouldn’t make it very easy.  Add to that the fact that Bard should step in without too much issue, plus the two draft picks, and I think this was probably for the best.

      That doesn’t mean I don’t understand how good Papelbon is, or that I don’t respect what he has done for the Sox and how important he has been, I just recognize that in the Sox particular circumstance it is what was going to (and needed to) happen.

  18. JKGocha 4 years ago

    we will see how sox fair without Papelbon. 2 late round picks doenst mean anything, you can get them for nothing pretty much.

  19. MattD93 4 years ago

    I think you should look at Bards stats after the All-Star break.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      Still a small sample size, but are you referring to his 1.63 ERA, 2.31 xFIP, 10.11 K/9, 1.91 BB/9, .155 BAA, .77 WHIP, and four total earned runs from July and August combined?  Because if you’re not we’re back to talking about 11 innings in September.

  20. Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

    I’m just glad Pap is gone. His ego was so inflated for a guy that choked 2 years in a row at the most crucial time we needed him. I’m thankful for his dominating past, but he’s no longer an AL pitcher. They’ve seen all his stuff, so it’s off to the NL he goes.

  21. Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

    Dude, Bard was our most overworked pitcher all year. When September came around, he was burnt out. Pap didn’t work nearly as many innings as Bard. Bard will be fine as the Sox closer. What are you Yankee fans going to do when Mo retires?? We’ll rag on you guys then.

    • MG83 4 years ago

      David Robertson says hello.

      • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

        David Robertson is Bard from a year ago. Just like it was presumptuous for Sox fans to proclaim Bard the closer-in-waiting last year, it’s likewise too soon for you guys to get hyped up on Robertson. Not saying you’re wrong, just saying give him another year or two first for him to prove he can sustain it.

  22. Jim McGrath 4 years ago

    I’m happy for Pap. He paid his dues and he has been rewarded.
    I have a feeling Doc, Lee and Hamels lobbied for this signing–not that Madson is not a good closer but Pap was the best available and management must have felt the need to go with Pap. The difference in price was marginal. Good luck Phils.

  23. Jim McGrath 4 years ago

    I’m happy for Pap. He paid his dues and he has been rewarded.
    I have a feeling Doc, Lee and Hamels lobbied for this signing–not that Madson is not a good closer but Pap was the best available and management must have felt the need to go with Pap. The difference in price was marginal. Good luck Phils.

  24. MB923 4 years ago

    Not Roy Halladay!

  25. DJHomeAlone 4 years ago

    if bard is so good why did he have 5 blown saves in 7 attempts last season. he may be a good reliever but that doesn’t make him a good closer

    • nestleraisinets 4 years ago

      whoever said that bard is good should be slapped in the face. The guy literally cost the Red Sox season because of blowing games

  26. Drew Tweedie 4 years ago

    Papelbon and his agent balked at the initial offer of $50,000,000.

  27. bayareabeast 4 years ago

    good for papelbon..bad for philly, which is always good to see

  28. jondogg2010 4 years ago

    $50,000,058? What a schmuck. I never really liked his attitude when he was in Boston, but because he was a great closer it got lost. I honestly as a die hard Sox fan am not unhappy that he chose not to want to return to Boston. I just can’t wait til A-Gon comes up in the bottom of the 9th, tie game, and ends the game with an A-BOMB of Papel-gone.

  29. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    I wonder what he’s going to do with that extra 58 bucks. Dinner at Applebees anyone?

  30. Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

    The beginning of the end for Ruben Amaro Jr.

  31. $1639238 4 years ago

    If Papelbon gives the Phillies 70 innings, the Phillies will be paying him $178,000 dollars an innings.
    If Halladay goes 230 innings, the Phillies will be paying him $87,000 an inning. 

    Are Papelbon’s outs worth twice as much as Halladay’s?

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Halladay will pitch in 31-33 games
      Papelbon will pitch in 50-80 games.

      Either way Halladay’s deal is below market value so it’s not a great comparison. (WELL below market value).

  32. azdsnd 4 years ago

    Phail complete.

  33. He gets payed more than Jose Bautista and only plays one inning 2 out of every 3 games.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Jose Bautista was also coming off 1 good year with questions if he could repeat the performance. If he would have waited and hit the market he could be looking at $100 million dollars right now.

  34. EnPutiza 4 years ago

    I wonder what kind of market there is for Hanrahan in Pit? Effective closer for a fraction of what Papelbon signed for. If I was the Sox, I’d have already called Pit to ask what they want for him.

  35. That 58 dollars is hilarious. His number is 58 too. That’s just too funny.

  36. That 58 dollars is hilarious. His number is 58 too. That’s just too funny.

  37. Ramon 4 years ago

    Don’t worry he blow as many saves a lidge did and the phillies will still suck

  38. PapelBLOWN !

  39. Spencer Shore 4 years ago

    Yah right. lets go phillies

  40. Dave203 4 years ago

    Likewise… You choose to pick the innings that are least similar to his new found role as a closer as your better comparison.  I am simply offering that those 11 innings that you choose to minimize, are more reflective of the pressure he will get as a closer for the Sox.

  41. MaineSox 4 years ago

    No, I chose to look at all of the innings, not the 11 that are most convenient to the point I’m trying to make.

  42. Dave203 4 years ago

    Its not a matter of the most convenient, but a matter of the most relevant.  His innings in the 8th inning earlier in the year did not have the same pressure as those down the stretch as the Sox were trying to hold on for the playoffs.  That pressure he felt in September, clearly got to him as he crumbled down the stretch.

    That is the same pressure he will get over the entire season closing games in the AL East.  You call them convenient, I call them relevant.

  43. MaineSox 4 years ago

    You can call them mice for all I care, it doesn’t make you right. 

    11 innings don’t tell you anything about how good a pitcher will be in the future, the sample size is way too small to be useful no matter how you try to spin it.

  44. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    They have more important things to worry about than Hamels/Pence.

  45. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    no doubt it was awesome most of the year and got them get to september with a shot , but when they needed to close  games  to make playoffs  they blew it .   simple

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  46. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    lol. That guy has no clue. Either that or he’s a master troll.

  47. 1. The Mets will not lose THEIR 1st round pick (Top 15 protected)
    2. The Marlins’ pick is protected
    3. Worst case, you lose a 2nd rounder

  48. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    Are you implying that they blew games because they were rookies and couldn’t handle the pressure? 

    Because I recall both Kimbrel and Venters being pretty dominant in the 2010 division series against the Giants. Not that I believe in clutch ability or anything.

  49. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    Are you implying that they blew games because they were rookies and couldn’t handle the pressure? 

    Because I recall both Kimbrel and Venters being pretty dominant in the 2010 division series against the Giants. Not that I believe in clutch ability or anything.

  50. bravesdude 4 years ago

    As a Braves fan , our young studs are the only reason we had a shot to make the playoffs . The reason we didn’t make it was poor offense . OVENTBREL  tired out because our offense struggled so much to get a bigger lead or score just one run in a tied game to win . That’s why we lead the majors in extra inning games . Venters was 1st in games pitched , Kimbrel was tied for 2nd , and O’Flaherty was tied for 5th .

    We were 26th in BA and OBP , 22nd in runs , 21st in slugging . That was the reason for the Braves collapse . Not the guys in the pen . Of course , Proctor and at times Linebrink wasn’t much help .

  51. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    He has 1 year and 6.5 million dollars left on his deal… He’s a great defensive 3rd baseman (not sure if the metrics back that up or not but just watching him, he’s amazing).

    Obviously the injuries are a concern but I can’t call that contract a mistake.

  52. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    I also recall the braves not winning that series

  53. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    I also recall the braves not winning that series

  54. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    Yeah, just because the sample size it too small to really gauge it doesn’t change the fact that it’s there.

  55. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    Yeah, just because the sample size it too small to really gauge it doesn’t change the fact that it’s there.

  56. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    ill give you that ,offensive struggles dont help bullpen and neither does a manager who runs them out there everyday , however the giants the year before probably had worse numbers than that on offense

  57. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    ill give you that ,offensive struggles dont help bullpen and neither does a manager who runs them out there everyday , however the giants the year before probably had worse numbers than that on offense

  58. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    the giants were an average offensive team in 2010. 

  59. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    To no fault of Venters and Kimbrel. 

  60. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    low average i would bet, pitching won that for you guys .    two guys with 20 homeruns , nobody with 100 rbi and one 300 hitter,  granted they had two guys that hit 290 , but i would say they were comparable to 2011 braves

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  61. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    i thought they lost a game late when posey was called safe on a steal when he was clearly out , i guess not their fault there either

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  62. MaineSox 4 years ago

    I hope he was trolling me

  63. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Thank you. I’m tired of anti-Red Sox BS. But coming from people who claim to be fans is worse than some random yankee fan who can’t name more than 4 people on their own team.

    I admit to sort of fanatical devotion to a team I’ve been following for as long as I can remember… but at least I’ve been through the bad times while still rooting for the Sox and I’m fine with riding out a relatively VERY short rough patch. Not to mention the fact that losing Paps is hardly the end of the world, most of us knew this was a possibility.

  64. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    okay, that last point is BS. No player does better ONLY in pressure situations. That’s idiotic. Why the hell would they do that?

  65. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    yes the pitching was the main reason the giants won. But it seemed as soon as the Giants made Posey the everyday catcher the team clicked. They also brought in Burrell and Ross. So really from the time Posey was the starter the team was an average offensive team.

  66. Last year he had a .674 OPS. You can pass for that at SS, but not at 3B, even if he’s a good defender.

    If he wasn’t “gritty” they’d get a lot more flak for that terrible deal.

  67. bayareabeast 4 years ago

    hes talking about nascar and kickball on a baseball sight..not a real fan

  68. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    They have Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley offensively in their infield, above average bats at both positions. Polanco was brought in to play gold glove caliber defense and be a situational hitter.

    Essentially Chase Utley gives you 3rd baseman’s production at 2nd and Polanco’s a 2nd baseman playing 3rd.

  69. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    There are players that don’t perform in pressure situations. I agree, it’s usually just coincidence a player (Carlos Ruiz) performs better at the right time.

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