Reaction To The Jonathan Papelbon Signing

Jonathan Papelbon became the first major free agent of the 2011-12 offseason to switch teams, agreeing to a four-year, $50MM contract with the Phillies today that also includes a vesting option for a fifth year.  Here is a sample of the reaction to the big signing…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link) says the Papelbon signing "is classic Philadelphia 21st century stuff: a quick strike, a big name and a lot of money."  It's a major commitment to a closer, but Rosenthal points out that Papelbon's numbers are comparable to the first six years of Mariano Rivera's career.
  • Rosenthal also notes that it hurts other free agent closers that the free-spending Phillies are no longer in the market for a stopper.
  • ESPN's Keith Law trashed the signing, citing the poor history of relievers in multiyear contracts, the fact that the Phils deprived their "depleted" farm system of a first-round draft pick as compensation for Papelbon and his belief that Ryan Madson is the better reliever on the market.  Law also projects that Papelbon will allow more home runs pitching at Citizens Bank Park.
  • "Papelbon is a safer bet than Madson, basically the same age and with a much longer and better track record as a closer," writes Danny Knobler of  "Madson looked good in 2011, but in a role where success is often a year-to-year thing, it's very easy to say you'd rather have Papelbon."
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports thinks "it’s hard to find much fault with" the signing, given Papelbon's experience pitching in a big market and in important games.  Morosi also looks at the rest of the offseason closer market.
  • The amount of money the Phillies paid is "stunning," according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston (Twitter link).  "If there was any year to lose your closer, this might be it," Edes writes.  "Other options out there, none as good as [Papelbon]."
  • The hefty contract and loss of a first round draft pick "seems steep" for Papelbon in the opinion of's Jon Heyman, but he likes how the Phillies are committed to contending every season.  Heyman also thinks the Red Sox will look to sign one of the available closers, due to Daniel Bard's poor numbers during Boston's September collapse (both Twitter links).

133 Responses to Reaction To The Jonathan Papelbon Signing Leave a Reply

  1. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    I love Paps, and wish him well.  I’m sure we would have given him the same money, or even more, per year, but probably not 4+ years.  I’m glad we’ll have the 1st round and sandwich compensation picks.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      yup. not enough of this in the other threads so far: thanks papelbon, you’ve been awesome (though you are a dbag). hope everything goes great for the phils and for paps

      having said that, phew. for that price, glad to see you go

    • Stephen 4 years ago

      But if you sign someone like Madson or Bell, you will lose your first round pick too.  Plus, this is assuming that compensation is not removed as part of the new CBA.

      • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

        That’s why my choice would be to sign someone like Joe Nathan, who is unranked, and would not cost us any picks.  Or, in the alternative, consider using Bard or Aceves to close and focus on obtaining some additional middle relief bullpen depth at much more reasonable prices.

  2. This was an aweful decision. Oh, well at least Madsen is still available if the Rangers want to move Feliz to the rotation.

  3. baseball52 4 years ago

    I have a problem with giving overrated closers big money. See Rod, K.

    • Performance is one thing, when you factor in that these guys seem to get injured every other year, you can add:
      Ryan, BJLidge, BradWagner, Billy (Mets)Gagne, EricNathan, Joe
      Wood, Kerry

      And this is just off the top of my head, I’m sure there is more.

      • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

        Billy Wagner spent 16 years in the majors, missed one season due to injury, never had a full-season ERA higher than 2.85, and had a career K/9 of 11.9. Please don’t mention him in the same breath as those other guys.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      there’s nothing overrated about Papelbon. He’s underrated if you ask me.

      But I agree, giving big money to relievers is idiotic.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        this acquisition kind of separates the analysts from the charlatans among the baseball writer crowd apparently. i have no love for keith law, but he incorporates all of the data and draws a sound conclusion on that basis


      • cyberboo 4 years ago

        Let me get this straight.  Signing Papalbon for 12.5m a season at 31 years old is bad, who has more saves at this point of his career and better numbers than Rivera, but the Yankees sign the 42 year old Rivera to 16M for 2 years, due to his age, and that is seen as a great signing.  What happened to his previous contract for four years and 15M a season at age 37?  Why was that also a good signing, plus the Soriano deal at 10M, 11M, and 14M is also a great signing due to one good year, but no one else is allowed to make that much, because they aren’t on New York.  Where is the logic in that?  

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          mariano rivera is the exception to every rule in baseball. you can’t draw any safe conclusions about other players based on him

          plus he plays for the yankees. the “risk” of long-term big money contracts for them is that they’ll have to cut them if they end up sucking and that will be pretty lame, but then they’ll just replace him with someone good, because they’ll never be out of money. everyone else in that scenario: battleship sunk

          come to think of it, the yankees are the exception to every rule of baseball operations. good fit i’d say

      • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

        Last year’s K/9 rate and K/BB rate alone show he’s elite.  His first 6 years are the closest to Mo Rivera’s of any other closer.  He is definitely not overrated.  That said, I wouldn’t give him more than 3 years.  Amaro is sometimes nuts.  And sometimes, he’s very shrewd.

  4. Bob Saget 4 years ago

    ridiculous on all counts as i love this deal, first off there is no salary you can spend if you have the money.. this guy is proven and even if it goes the full 5 years he will be 30 fricken  5. id rather pay 12.5 mil a yr for him than 11 mil a year for madson. 

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      if those were the only two choices, this would be a good move

  5. Matt Moore 4 years ago

    This is a fail waiting to happen…

  6. 55saveslives 4 years ago

    Ryan Madson’s reaction :  !@#$&#!$@

  7. Bob Saget 4 years ago

    some of the comments ive read are if we gave him 30 mil a year. 12.5 mil is not awful especially in a legue without a hard cap

    • Remember this post in July when we need to add a bat at the deadline and all Rube can do is turn his pockets inside out and shrug his shoulders…

      I know I will.

      • Bob Saget 4 years ago

        that is a joke..remember when rube said we were topped out last year? what happened then? oh yea cliff lee

        • Cliff Lee and his wife wanted to go back to Philadelphia. He mine as well have begged Amaro. It had nothing to do with Amaro Jr. being a good GM.
          It’s just like the Yankees…Cashman is just an average GM that had Papa Steinbrenner’s checkbook to play with.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            I guess it’s that easy…

          • We all know that’s how it is.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            It really isn’t though. Look at Theo in Boston 2010-2011.

          • Dave Wetzel 4 years ago

            And you point is what?  GM’s for big market teams can afford mistakes and cover them up by spending more money.  And you know what…it works, has worked, and will continue to work.  Money can buy good teams, as long as you spend that money on good players.  Listen, this deal is a bad one.  We all know that, no one else needs to say it.  Keith Law doesn’t, FanGraphs doesn’t, the Pope doesn’t.  Spending big money on closers is never the prudent thing to do.  But the Phillies don’t operate like the rest of baseball save a few teams.  Ruben doesn’t want to turn the closer role over to a lesser guy (like a Cordero) or a younger guy (like Bastardo).  So he went out and bought a closer he is comfortable with pitching the 9th inning 50 – 60 times this year.  It doesn’t have to be a smart investment, big market teams don’t need those.  The Rays needs those, the Brewers need those, the A’s need those.  But the Phillies, who can spend upwards of 170+ million every year, don’t.  Does it make the deal good?  No.  But it doesn’t have to when you’re playing with play money.  And I’m done.

          • The Pope actually said it wasn’t too bad of a deal. He picked Pap to the Phils I heard.

          • PWNdroia 4 years ago

            I agree about Cashmen.  Epstein was the same way with the Red Sox which is why I don’t see him a huge fix for the Cubs.

        • You realize Cliff was only paid $11 million last year right?  Rube kicked the can down the road with that signing because of the luxury tax.

          They are already at $130M for 2012, with no LF yet, no SS yet, two expensive arbitration cases coming up (Pence and Hamels), and 1 guy for a five man bench under contract.

          My concern with this signing is that this is IT for the 2012 off-season. And if that turns out to be true, I believe I just listed five other places I would have liked to see this money spent as opposed to handing 8% of the payroll over to a guy who miiight pitch 70 of the 1458 innings we will play next year.

          I stand by my previous statement.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            I’m not sure if you’re factoring in Papelbon’s contract or not, I’m assuming you are… (if not this post will look stupid).

            They’ve said they’ll go over the luxury tax for the right player, why everybody ignores that is beyond me.

            Valdez, Thome, Mayberry are on the bench, so that’s two spots they need to fill.

            Hamels will probably sign a back loaded extension.
            Pence should get $9-$12 million, let’s just say $12.

            So $142. With Pence. $12 million for Cuddyer? That brings it up to $154. So, still need to fill SS, 2 bench spots, and pay Cole Hamels. Figure Jimmy would cost $10-$12 if they get that done, So thats $166 leaving $9 million to pay Hamels and fill up the bench (which will probably be done on minor league contracts) if they stick to a $175 million dollar payroll… not factoring in the possibility that Papelbon’s contract is backloaded and potentially Cuddyer’s would be too.

          • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

            $9M for Hamels? Wishful thinking, man. Try more like $14-15M in his final arb year. And then he’ll be a free agent in the prime of his career. They may have Halladay and Lee, but Hamels is the one who carried them to the only recent World Series title they have. No hometown discounts. No back-loaded favors. He’s going to get PAID.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            Im assuming they sign him to a long term deal and they backload it heavily like with Cliff Lee (made 11 mil this year). Theyll have more than 9 million to spend though on Hameld depending on how various contracts are structured.

            If they sign Hamels to a long term deal they could probably structure it so that he makes $10-$12 million.

          • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

            That sounds fair enough, but they need to sign him to that extension soon, then. If he makes it to arb, even that $10-12M figure is a dream. Lincecum made $13M in what would have been his second arbitration year this season. Not that Hamels is quite as dominant as Lincecum, but I think we both know where his salary would be headed in his 4th and final arb year.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            Yeah, he’d easily get $12-$14 in arbitration.

            I don’t think realistically, that they won’t sign Rollins AND Cuddyer. Probably one or the other and either add a lesser bat like a Kuebel or a Sizemore, or a Alex Gonzalez or promote Freddy Galvis

          • Bob Saget 4 years ago

            amen, well said

      • Fred 'face' Reichwein 4 years ago

        well the way I look at is that last year when they had a 175 million payroll they spent on 12.5 million on a closer an elite closer at that. When your team is not going to score many runs and you need to hold onto leads with. So I really dont think your ” lets remember this” will come back to hurt the phillies

  8. “given Papelbon’s experience pitching in a big market and in important games.”

    notice it’s “experience pitching” and not “experience pitching well.”

    also, just look at BJ Ryan & K.Rod. this is going to blow up in their face.

    • legaryd 4 years ago

      I don’t understand why people think that the Francisco Rodriguez contract blew up in the Met’s face.  Reasonable ERA around 3.00, between 5 and 7 blown saves a year, K rate around 10 per inning.  Year in and year out, above average closer.

      You can blame the system for making closers overpriced, but don’t blame K-Rod for taking the money, he did exactly what you expected him to.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      You don’t think a career 1.02 WHIP is pitching well?
      A career 1.00 ERA in the post season isn’t pitching well?

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        yea, this isn’t a poor signing because of anything about papelbon. he’s great, end of discussion

        it’s a poor signing because it’s a huge risk that fills an overvalued hole (that’s what she said)

        • Amish_willy 4 years ago

          Did you crap yourself when the Yanks gave 40-year old Mo 3/45?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “mariano rivera is the exception to every rule in baseball. you can’t draw any safe conclusions about other players based on him”

            also “the yankees are the exception to every rule of baseball operations”

            do you need these things explained to you? they are fairly common knowledge

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          Oh definitely, I can understand that. I like this contract better than the one Madson reportedly wanted though.

  9. Keith Law’s a smart guy. He has to know that signing Papelbon over Madson doesn’t deprive the Phillies’ weak farm system of a pick, it ADDS a pick.

    Situation A – Phillies keep Madson, they keep their 31st overall pick.

    Situation B – Phillies sign Papelbon, they lose their 31st overall pick. Then, someone else signs Madson, and the Phillies gain that team’s first or second round pick in addition to a sandwich round pick no worse than 36th overall.

    Signing Papelbon, the Phillies drop 1 to 5 spots in the draft, essentially swapping their 31st pick for a pick somewhere from 32nd to 36th, AND add an additional pick that could very well be even better than the pick they originally had (either in the 16-30 range, or at the front end of round 2). But either way, they improved their overall 2012 draft situation.

    $50M and 4 years to me sounds like a stupid contract to give a closer (any closer), so if you want to knock the deal, knock that. But on the draft pick compensation front, it’s sound (unless you want to argue that they should’ve signed a non-Type A closer, keeping all 3 picks, I guess).

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      you’re right, he’s pretty sharp. sharp enough to recognize that there were more than two options

      Situation C – the phillies sign a player that does not cost them their 1st round draft pick. then, someone else signs madson and the phillies gain that team’s first or second round pick in addition to a sandwich pick

      i’m not interested in arguing about who they ought to have signed and i don’t enjoy defending keith law, but let’s not pretend what you just presented is a sensible criticism of his position. if those were the only two situations, his position would be different

      • Amish_willy 4 years ago

        Was situation C realistic? We are talking about the Phillies after all, the team with the best rotation in the game (strong desire for a top-notch closer). In order to keep their first round pick AND get compensation they would have signed one of the lesser closers, were talking Nathan, Lidge, Capps, Broxton or F-Rod. Think most thought they would have one of the three top closers, whether that was keeping Madson or signing one of Paps or Bell. Wonder what percentage the MLBTR community had the Phillies ending up with one of them? I’d guess 95% figured that would be the case. Smart money bet.

        Their draft pick situation improves versus re-signing Madson, and can’t blame them for signing Pap for four years versus Bell for three years. Hard to see a team in the Phillies position taking a one-year flyer on one of the more volatile closers to make your situation C bare fruit.

        Looking at potential suitors for Madson, the best fits all have unprotected picks. Factor in no team picking lower then the Phillies and only four players ranked higher then Madson, and at the end of the day I don’t think the Phillies are going to be hurting at all for “losing their first round pick”.

        So yeah, I think the people ridiculing the team for giving up their first round pick, 31st pick mind you, are just a tad off base.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          a non-type A signing is and would have been a viable strategy. there’s no argument about whether papelbon instead of other type A’s improves their lot; that’s what i just finished saying. the ‘argument’ (law’s) is that they didn’t have to sign a type A – and shouldn’t have

          the response “well they needed to sign a type A because they wanted a big name/people expected them to get a big name” might be accurate, but it doesn’t address his criticism at all

          they did something; he said it wasn’t smart. you’re saying “it wasn’t realistic for them to be smart”. fine, i guess? doesn’t speak to his criticism unless all you mean to be saying is that law’s expectations for the phillies should have been lower. even then, you’re not refuting his claim that it was dumb to do

          • Amish_willy 4 years ago

            Have you looked at the non type-A closers? Has Law? I mistakenly included Capps in the B category, when in fact he’s an A. My bad.

            When you invest 70m in a starting rotation any team in their right mind is going to take the steps necessary to assure they have the best chance of having a top-notch closer in the years to come. Yes they could have gambled on a lessor guy, but you don’t go all out on a rotation like that and then decide to start pinching pennies on the closer, and questioning them giving up their first round pick in the process is pretty much a non-consideration with the factors myself and others have pointed out. But yeah, they could have signed Rauch or Frank Francisco or whomever fits your optimal description, but no I don’t think most teams in the Phillies position with their resources go that route. If signing a lessor pitcher to fill an important role on a championship caliber team constitutes being “smart”, then so be it, but don’t be surprised if the majority disagrees. Of the guys they could have signed without forfeiting a pick, F-Rod was probably the best of the bunch, but even then Paps has a fWAR twice as high over the last three years.

            When you look at the type B relievers the list includes the following names (in ranking order): Frank Francisco, Lidge, Wood, Rauch, Wheeler, Rhodes, and Camp.
            The non-ranked free agents are non-ranked for a reason, they haven’t provided
            much of anything in recent years. While those guys make smart pickups for cost conscious teams, particularly ones coming off 3rd, 4th, 5th place seasons on a strict budget,  they’re
            not the kind of players teams with 150m+ payrolls that lead their division the 4-5 years prior settle on. 

            Every realistic option for a replacement closer was going to be a Type-A, with F-Rod being the lone exception, and I’d gladly take a pitcher with Paps consistent numbers, excellent velocity that he has continued to maintain any day of the week.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            you aren’t even following this conversation. all you’ve done is repeat “when you’re the phillies, you don’t pinch pennies on a closer”. yes, great. we’ve all seen that already. we’re talking about whether that’s smart

            the argument on law’s side is well-settled: these kinds of investments in relievers are almost always mistakes. so far, your counter-argument amounts to “well it’s not realistic to expect the phillies to avoid making that mistake”

            brilliant insight given that they already made it, that’s for sure. but unless you are going to speak directly to his argument, maybe speak a little bit less for awhile

      • 1. I addressed Situation C in my last sentence as a caveat to my criticism of Law’s position.

        2. Far is I could tell from the summary and the from non-Insider portion of Law’s post, he was addressing signing Papelbon as compared to signing Madson. He thought both were bad ideas, but suggested one downside of signing Papelbon RELATIVE to signing Madson was that it cost the Phillies a pick.

    • Kieth Law must be blinded by his obvious hatred of the Phillies…

  10. diesel2410 4 years ago

    I wish my team could spend big money for anyone they want and lure them easily…

    • Relay that message to fellow Rays fans and tell them to go to the games. It’s pathetic how the Rays compete so well every year and nobody goes out to watch. If I were a Rays fan, in or around St. Petersburg, i’d have season tix for sure.

      • diesel2410 4 years ago

        I don’t like going to the Trop. But I do it about 15 times a year to watch the Rays. If a new stadium was built in Tampa like the Marlins’ new stadium, then it’d be a different case. 

  11. How about we get a reaction page to that disaster of a unveiling down in South Beach. Holy Helen Bob those are horrendous looking jerseys.

    • I was going to say the same thing. I don’t know what’s worse. The jerseys, or the fashion show they had to show them off LOL.

  12. I am a Phillies fan, and I approve of Keith Law’s message.

  13. do not even compare him to mariano!

  14. As a Red Sox fan I thank Papelbon for helping the Bosox win in ’07.  That said, at the moment I’m glad the Sox didn’t overpay and have another lenghty contract to worry about.  I’m very interested in how the Sox handle their Closer issue and how Pap does w/ the Phillies.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Despite the recent spending spree, a lot of Phillies fans seem to have forgotten that, despite being a large market, they are not actually the Yankees. The Yankees are a global brand worth infinitely more than the Phillies are ever realistically likely to ever be worth.

      When Sabathia and A-Rod and Teixiera become albatross contracts in four or five years, the Yankees will just go buy more top free agents and relegate them to bench duty, because they can afford to. When Howard, Lee and Papelbon are all albatross contracts, well, the Phillies will be stuck with them without the funds to fix the problem.

      From a won now standpoint, the Phillies are making the right moves, but none of these moves are going to look particularly attractive on the far end of the deals.

  15. Also, I was always 50/50 with Pap.  He made me nervous most of the time.  And downright killed me in ’10. 

  16. Mariners4Ever 4 years ago

    Ben Cherington: ahaha what dopes!

  17. RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

    I love the Keith Law columns, constantly bashing, never offering reasonable solutions to a problem.  Closers?  They’ll pop out of no where <— that sounds reliable to a team contending.

    But I forgot, he was a talent evaluator and adviser to the GM to the powerhouse Blue Jays in 2002-2006, clearly he is the word of god.  Fool

    • Does the name, Jason Motte mean anything to you?

      I’ll bet it didn’t last July…..

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      there are dozens of good reasons to criticize keith law. this isn’t one of them. he didn’t and wouldn’t suggests closers “pop out of nowhere”. this is one of the most robust markets for closing pitchers in recent history

      moreover, the ninth inning is not magical. most elite relievers can close and so can many relievers that are merely good. relievers in general are a very volatile group and that’s exactly why these kinds of commitments to them are poor choices

      it’s not like this is purely theoretical. the rays lost their entire bullpen after 2010, rebuilt it without a single elite reliever, and succeeded again in 2011. they’re smarter than you

      • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

        Robust as in how?   When they “Signed” Madson everyone screamed OVERPAY! OVERPAY!  The third best closer by conventional wisdom is KRod, aka the person everyone cites as why you shouldn’t give long term deals to closers.  So now he’s supposed to be a closer of a contending team…?  Joe Nathan, perpetually injured and even when he was healthy he was a huge choker, the same verbatim could be said about Broxton.  Who does that leave us with?  Brad Lidge?  Gamble on that knee and arm one more time?

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          as in there are many more viable options than usual. the reported deal for madson was a huge overpay for the same reason this was

          if you can’t get past the closer fetish itself, you won’t be able to see my point – or the one keith law tries to make. a big name big money closer is not a necessity and is in fact a poor investment in most cases. this isn’t just a fashionable opinion, it’s a conclusion based on the data: this approach has been tried before, many times. it rarely works out

          the briefest of reviews: link to

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            Ah, ok, another one with no solutions, just bashing.  Closer fetish?  Yeah, who wants to have someone pitch a clean 9th inning of a game, FETISH! 12 mil a year out of a 175 dollar payroll is what?  That’s right 6.8% of the total team salary.  Not exactly a huge commitment.

            Let’s see, you bash the signing but offer no other names to possibly close, just vague theoreticals and concepts, sounds reliable. If you look at the list (that you supplied) the only two names on that list with the same type of pedigree as Papelbon are Cordero (avg 37.5 saves per) and of course Rivera, two closers who did GREAT for their teams. So thanks for proving yourself wrong even by your own stupid standards.  Some of you stat boys are endlessly hopeless.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            by “closer fetish” i mean somebody who covets the role so much that, for example, the only candidates they bring up are “papelbon, madson, k-rod, nathan, broxton, and lidge”

            are these the only talented relievers in baseball? not by a long shot. and yet your conversation is limited to them, and you are utterly stumped by the fact that i haven’t given you a list of “solutions”. here’s your list: all good relievers. philly already has at least one

            not everyone on that list will be of an equal caliber, naturally; but if you disagree that that list is viable, you do in fact have a closer fetish and you are very probably incapable of understanding the other side of the argument

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            Again, so you’re suggesting whom?  Jose Contreas?  Bastardo?  These reliable names?  How often do setup man try to convert to closer and it fails miserably?  Hint hint, take a look at the list YOU provided.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            what are you on about now? i don’t even think any of the players on that list were setup guys that tried to close and failed. the only one that was even given a shot really was brandon lyon. and he…succeeded. shocking outcome

            that is, he succeeded until this year. again, shocking that a reliever’s performance would be so volatile. I THINK IT BEST WE INVEST HEAVILY IN THIS COMMODITY, CHAPS

            you know who couldn’t close as of 2010? ryan madson. it’s hilarious that you would continue to act as if this is an unthinkable phenomenon. the closer fetish couldn’t be clearer

            you know who couldn’t close as of 2010? kyle farnsworth

            you know who couldn’t close at some point in their careers? almost every closer ever

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            seriously though, what you fail to understand is that low-cost commitments to solid relievers with upside are generally superior because, even if one does fail to thrive for a period of time as a closer, you aren’t stuck with him. established closers struggle almost as frequently, but their teams are often tied down by them

            you know who couldn’t close? papelbon, just like madson. just like kimbrel, axford, j.j. putz, brandon league, joel hanrahan, and most of the rest of the players on the current freaking saves leaderboard

            but yes do tell us more. must choose between papelbon madson k-rod and bell or else disaster because only special kinds of relievers can close. only a select few earn this ability, and they do so via pixie dust. they definitely do not get it by being given the opportunity to close despite not having had it before

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            SO again, you’ve gone full circle, give it over to a low priced free agent or someone with no experience… what most clubs with no money HAVE to do, reason why those people are usually on top, there’s always SOMEONE to grab saves and if you’re a bad team you’re going to be in a lot of close games.   It’s hardly a sound, reliable investment and chances are you’d have to pay those guys the very next year even if they fulfill your wildest dreams.   What is the success rate of doing this? Not nearly as good as someone like Papelbon with dominate, career long numbers with a near record saves pace, I assume?  Are any of the closers you mentioned, save Kimbrel, a stud rookie, reliable on a year to year basis or in the playoffs?  Highly doubtful.   They’re general jobbers who can clean up saves on bad teams in no stress situations with mediocre to above average stuff.  Your entire argument is basically shot in the dark, hope it works, if not pay through the teeth in prospect for a closer at the deadline, great.

            You fail to suggest a single tangential candidate to fill the slot and are perpetually stuck in conceptional land with no solutions, exactly as I stated in post one about Keith Law.  Next.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “What is the success rate of doing this? Not nearly as good as someone like Papelbon”

            what are the odds e.g. bastardo would be as good in 2012 as paplebon? probably not great. but the choice isn’t bastardo or papelbon in 2012. it’s bastardo in 2012 (or dozens of other options) or papelbon for 4 years and $50M (plus more, probably)

            what are the odds that relying on low-cost talented relievers instead of committing huge resources to papelbon would turn out better over the long-term? pretty damn good, actually. that’s the whole point

            “You fail to suggest a single tangential candidate”

            false. i suggested all of them. what you wanted was names, because the concepts alone are baffling you. pick any of the names. include trade targets. uehera cost the rangers chris davis and tommy hunter. in short, 4-years $50M >>>> chris davis and tommy hunter

            i know i know. you’re just going to keep insisting that closing is magical and that only guys who already have the pixie dust can do it (and they can do it forever! sign them for as long as you want, they have pixie dust!). i get your position. yours is the established one and there’s not much work behind it to look into

            i’ve been trying to show you the other one, the one with all the numbers behind it. i surrender. closers are magical

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            Ah so it finally comes out… roll the dice on someone like the Phillies were the Royals and had no other options.  Perfect, why sign a slugger?  Look at Bautista?  Someone is going to waste a whole lot of money on Pujols I’m telling you.  You copped out on the name a candidate to close, just like Law, it’s spineless because you know you have no one that would make even a shred of sense.  You also continue with the fallacy that Papelbon is a huge investment for the Phillies, he’s 6.8% of the payroll or, about 1/15th. On a team with a 90 million dollar payroll that equates to about 6.1 mil a year,  not exactly a backbreaker.

            But but but, roll the dice on a nobody!  “Chances?  Probably not great”  <—LOL

            Then what?  Pay through the teeth with prospect to get one mid season?  This move GAINS the Phillies a sandwich pick and maybe even moves them up in the draft.  It's the best move for this club, EASILY.  Is it the best move if someone with less payroll?  No, but for the Phillies it is.  Papelbon has had 30+ saves every single year he was a closer, not exactly volatile, 2010 was his worst year and even then he had well over 30 saves.   Again, next, no more stat zombies, please.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            that you would compare relievers to position players perfectly illustrates how far over your head this entire conversation has gone. you have never even successfully identified the position of the people you’re arguing with, but you’re convinced they’re wrong. brilliant

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            So, Jamie Moyer at closer?  Sounds like a winner to me!  You have nothing, game over

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “next”, “again, next”, “game over”

            priority one: appear to be right
            priority two: reality

            – Brad Lidge, $12,500,000 (2009-11) fail
            – Francisco Rodriguez, $12,333,333 (2009-11) fail
            – Joe Nathan, $11,750,000 (2008-11) fail
            – Francisco Cordero, $11,500,000 (2008-11) fail
            – Billy Wagner, $10,750,000 (2006-09) fail
            – Kerry Wood, $10,250,000 (2009-10) fail
            – B.J. Ryan, $9,400,000 (2006-10) fail
            – Brian Fuentes, $8,750,000 (2009-10) fail

            after reviewing the evidence, i think the best option would be to give a 31 year old free agent closer a record-breaking contract. history suggests this should end well. critics have no clue, i am a genius

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Glad it’s you and not me

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            Hey!  Look!  Criticism!  But no solutions?  Gee, almost sounds exactly as my description of Keith Law.  I keep on saying next and things of that nature because you’re a bore who doesn’t know when to give up.  You’ve offered no solutions and have mirrored exactly my criticism of Keith Law perfectly.  Elite closers with proven histories have a much better chance of fulfilling their contracts.  Papelbon, unlike the majority of the people you posted does not have a history of serious injuries.  Sigh, this will all go through empty skull and I’ll get some regurgitated stat zombie mantra.  Oh well

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            at a bare minimum, there were dozens of potential solutions. your refusal to acknowledge them is not the same as my failure to provide them

            every time the facts have been presented to you, you have ignored them, falling back on “stat zombie” (lol “fact zombie”) cliches. we could have agreed to disagree if you at any point seemed to understand. but your fingers have been in your ears from the beginning

            good luck, though. i really do hope paps & the phils defy the very strong odds laid against them here

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            You started and have continued with nothing but tired regurgitated cliches from the very first post.  You don’t name tangential backup solutions for not signing a high priced but rather throw vague concepts, past talking points and hypotheticals without actually naming names.  You’re stuck in conceptional land, I’ve actually outlined why Papelbon is a good signing, such as

            -For a team with a 175 million dollar payroll it isn’t a big investment, a simple fact you’re avoiding like the plague
            -It gains a sandwich pick and possibly moves you up in the draft
            -Papelbon’s career numbers are so strong and so consistent and has been so healthy it’s hard to imagine he’ll do anything but at the very least give you 3 good years out of the 4 concrete ones offered.

            You’ve countered with, offering no one as a tangential backup plan, implied closers fall out of the sky and it isn’t a big deal if/when the closer fails because uh, um, you’ve yet to explain that one  (roll the dice again?).  And Papelbon will fail because closers with much less distinguished careers failed before him when signing with a new team.  I’m sorry, your Yahtzee style of GMing is kind of a joke.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            – just about every one of your arguments could be applied to the lidge signing, and the rest on that list. ’nuff said

            -for the love of god, signing papelbon does not net a draft pick. it loses one. letting madson go nets a draft pick. letting madson go doesn’t require signing papelbon, though, you are just conflating these things because it makes it look better than it is

            – every piece of evidence we have contradicts your position, so you have a mountain of work to do in order to justify a deal like this. it’s not important to me to dream the details of alternatives for you. they’re known by everyone already

            i really do like your insults, i just wish you knew what you were talking about. wasted potential

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            also, that is an amusing review of papelbon’s “career numbers”. until 2011, he had been in steady decline. he’s notoriously money-motivated and had a phenomenal contract year. i for one am shocked that you omitted information in your analysis to make it look better

            completely dependent on his fastball, if paps regresses to 2009-2010 level in philadelphia (or worse, or is injured), the contract is a mess. dozens of potential acquisitions could provide a 3.5 FIP in relief for a fraction of the cost


            yea, k. glwt

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago


            I’m sure he’ll stop throwing the splitter now that he’s in a new city, natural he’ll want to do worse I’m certain.  He’s only had one season with more than 5 blown saves in his entire career, that’s quite consistent.  Find me the closers with that kind consistency.  As stated in the past (try listening) Lidge also had a history of knee and arm problems and was older.  Also Lidge didn’t miss any playoff games and didn’t blow a single playoff game while he was in Philadlephia.

          • RhapsodyinBlue 4 years ago

            It’s funny, I don’t remember saying all but rather just one, how about one? You tried and mentioned Bastardo but lamented he would likely not succeed <—Winning philosophy indeed

            Outside of Rivera no one has been as consistent as Papelbon at the closer spot and it isn't a big money commitment for the Phillies, again a fact you're running from like the plague.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            whoops, one last thing

            “Are any of the closers you mentioned, save Kimbrel, a stud rookie, reliable on a year to year basis or in the playoffs?

            for argument’s sake, let’s just assume they are not. but get this, you tunnel-visioned loon: neither is papelbon

            ask red sox fans about 2010 or the 2009 ALDS, off the top of my head. relievers are volatile. you have a fetish. it is irrational. get over it

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        moreover, the ninth inning is not magical. most elite relievers can close and so can many relievers that are merely good”

        Joe Borowski, he of the 45 saves for the 2007 Indians (Who barely missed the 2007 WS) despite an ERA north of 5, says hi.

        So here I am to disagree with your remark. A reliever doesn’t even need to be  “merely good” to close. Joe Borowski managed to lead the AL in saves despite actually being pretty bad.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i am defeated

          funsies: can you name the the world series winning closers since 1980? link to

          no big name & contract, no title! clearly

    • Fred 'face' Reichwein 4 years ago

      THANK GOD. I mean this guy Law just critizes every move that every team makes. Not every one is going to win on a trade and a signing.

  18. Thanks Philadelphia, just keep driving up the market for you guys, Los Angeles, Boston and New York. You have 2 closers, some teams don’t have any, now they can’t afford a good one unless they are only going to have 2 outfielders. Lucky for us, we won the world series without one… and good thing, they are getting to expensive.

  19. “ESPN’s Keith Law
    trashed the signing, citing the poor history of relievers in multiyear
    contracts, the fact that the Phils deprived their “depleted” farm system
    of a first-round draft pick as compensation for Papelbon and his belief
    that Ryan Madson is the better reliever on the market.”

    Okay, I agree that four years is too long for a relief pitcher.  I wouldn’t do it.   But the Phils might not have to give up a pick, depending on what the new CBA says, and if they offer arby to Madson, he is certain to decline and go elsewhere for a multi year deal, giving the Phillies TWO draft picks as compensation, that they would not have if Madson was resigned.   Just sayin…

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      fellas. the fact that they will get compensation for madson does not change the fact that they gave up their first round pick. they could have had their first round pick plus compensation. still get compensation, but gave up their pick. that’s the point

      it’s one thing to disagree that that would be a good way to go. but you have to actually get his point first

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        I still would take a player that fills a need and can help a great team be a WS contender vs an unknown quantity which is a draft pick. Just saying. The idea that adding a 1st pick talent to the farm for a team with a $150 + mil payroll filled with aging vets is absurd. Yes, developing the farm is important but the greater concern is winning another WS.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          that’s a viable approach if you plan to compete in cycles or are the yankees

    • yea and ,more then likely we want a horrible team to sign him like the mets or marlins or rockies so we can get a top 10 pick in the first round and the other team will get like pick 30 or 27 or something like that

  20. Papelbon is a top 5 closer in the game so it’s an improvement for the Phils

    • Quick question, if we had Paplebon, or even Jesus for that matter, instead of Madson, do we win Game 5 of the NLDS????

      Yea, I didn’t think so either.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Ok…without “a” Madson or a Paps do they even make it TO the NLDS next year? 

        Yea, I didn’t think so either.

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          You can’t sincerely believe that. I know you know better than to fall into that awful logical fallacy. They might not have won 100 games, but they most certainly would’ve made the playoffs with or without a top closer. They won their division by over a dozen games for crying out loud.

        • yea ur a yanks fan ur payroll is like 250 million we have a bunch of old players we r so pathetic that r 3rd pitcher is AJ BURNETT HAHAHAAH now these two are hysterical 4th pitcher BARTOLO COLON!!!!!! HAHAAHA 5th pitcher FREDDY GARCIA HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHahHAHAHAHAH u guys r such bad fans that  u offered cliff lee an extra 5 mil a year and he declined it because he said that the phils have the better and best fans and u have a guys named derek jeter the balls eater a 3b who shows that uses steroids his knees and hips are always hurting him and dont go chase utley usses steroids then because do u not see how hard he plays day in day out i dont think A-ROIDS does that and by the way paplebon blew 2 less saves the mariano rivera and how bad is the yankees farm system its even worse then the phillies and how about wen they traded ian kennedy and austin jackson away to get kennedy with their lack of speed only gardener and their lack of starting pitching kennedy that must hurt pretty bad at least we make good trade HUNTER PENCE and we still keep D-Brown and imagine if we didnt trade away gio gonzales to the a’s to get blanton we prob wouldnt have a championship with out him but that rotation the best rotation to ever come halladay lee hamels oswalt gonzalez last year and this year halladay lee hamels gonzalez worley omg times that by the yankees payroll thats how much better it would be then the yankees rotation

      • If we had Papelbon would he have given up the game winning HR to Juan Uribe in the 2010 NLCS game 6 like Madson did?  Yeah that kind of “logic” goes both ways.

  21. I know Papelbon is really, really good and all, but that’s $12.5 million a year.  For a guy that’s going to pitch 70-80 innings the entire season.  I mean, I know the FA position player market is pretty bare minus the big 3, but that type of money can buy you a really good player that’s gonna actually be out there making a difference every single day (or close to it).

  22. Ray R 4 years ago

    The Phillies overspending on Papelbon? Yeah, whatever. They’re desperate; their window is closing fast. It’s the same reason they’re going to overpay for Cuddyer. No surprise.

    Rosenthal comparing Papelbon to Mo is shocking. Maybe he was drunk? His numbers have been declining over the past three seasons, while Rivera is a once-in-a-lifetime pitcher.

    • Minorityfanbasewannabe 4 years ago

      i’m not saying he’s mo but his number did not recline last year at all. In fat you put up great numbers last year.

  23. nestleraisinets 4 years ago

    self proclaimed best closer joins the self proclaimed best team in the NL. Goodluck…

    • Dave Wetzel 4 years ago

      They one 102 games last year.  They didn’t need to ‘self proclaim’ themselves.  They were the best team in the NL last year.  Try watching baseball.

      • nestleraisinets 4 years ago

        I watched them choke… that was enough

        • Dave Wetzel 4 years ago

          You build a team to get to the playoffs and then you take your chances.  But let’s be honest, you can’t argue the Phillies are a bad team or won’t do well this year, so you just throw words like “choke” around.  Loser.

  24. bomberj11 4 years ago

    How are the Dropkick Murphies going to feel about this?!

  25. missyae 4 years ago

    The Phillies window is closing and thats why they keep overpaying. In time we will see if it works. It didnt work last year and I doubt Papelbon is gonna be that big of an improvement over Madson, plus he is older. Might take him a year to adjust also. I think Papelbon cashed in and it remains to be seen how he handles having that new contract. Some players kick back and coast, no pressure anymore. I tend to think he will be one of those. He has been hungry year to year, he has his goal now, he will lose his edge now. I would rather have a young, hungry Madson.

    • >plus he is older.

      By like, two friggin’ months…

    • u guys are acting like we just sign barry zito to a 7 year 140 million dollar contract we left the season knowing we needed a closer paplebon he blew 3 saves last year up until the last week he blew 1 , then we knew we needed a bat to play 3rd ss Lf were going after cudddyer, kubel, and sizemore who seems like a good fit in philly.

  26. Colin Christopher 4 years ago

    As a fan of another NL East team, I’m happy to see the Phils continuing to get older and more expensive.

  27. BoSoxBro 4 years ago

    Honestly, I’m glad to see Paps go. He came up in our farm system, learned his craft in Boston, we made him a rockstar….and then he gets the money waved at him and he’s gone. Didn’t even give the Sox a chance to match the Phils’ offer. He’s turned into a total poodle. He’s an amazing closer, and I wish him well, but at this point I’m glad the Dbag with a bad attitude is gone.

  28. stewie75 4 years ago

    is there no shot bell leaves san diego? seems like he’d thrive in boston and prob cost 4 years max. 

    • BoSoxBro 4 years ago

      Bell’s been saying he’d like to play for a major market team or for a real contender, but he’s partial to staying on the West Coast. Maybe Gonzo can help sway him.

  29. FamousGrouse 4 years ago

    Well hopefully Roy Halladay (the anti dbag) can mentor Papelbon to not be a dbag.

    • BoSoxBro 4 years ago

      Problem with that…Paps was brought up under Schilling, (a born again Christian/reformed Dbag) pitched with Wakefield, (a perennial Clemente candidate) and was mentored by Varitek (the first guy to wear a C on his chest in 30 years…because he’s even tempered and can handle the personalities). Dude’s 31. Personality is set, it was a Dbag move to not even let the Sox match Philly’s offer, and he chased the money. I know he’ll be a great closer for the Phils, but he’s a butthead.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Let’s get off of the not matching thing. Cherington himself has admitted they told Papelbon they wouldn’t commit that much to him early this offseason. I don’t blame Cherington for that, mind you, but you can’t really blame Papelbon for taking the money when waved at him rather than waiting for someone else to potentially set the bar too low for him to get a deal like this.

  30. Gumby65 4 years ago

    Boston’s reaction to Papelbon’s signing: Philly, sign 4 more HOF starters.

  31. hawkny1 4 years ago

    Boston received 7 years of excellent closer service from Papelbon’s right arm.  The Phils seem to think they can get 4, perhaps, 5 more good years from him.  Possible, yes.  Probable, maybe.  Guaranteed, absolutely not. 

    Save an except Mariano Rivera, who has a rubber elbow and cast iron shoulder, few closers, if any, are able to be exceedingly effective at the major league level for a full decade or more.  Papelbon is moving to a new city, a new group of teammates, and a new league.  Who knows how this will affect him psychologically and physically?  Only time will tell. 

    Meanwhile, Ben Cherington now has $12.5M more in uncommitted money to reshape the Boston Red Sox roster into his vision of a winner in the AL East during the coming years.  Lets see how that plays out before passing judgement on whether it was or was not time to let Jonathan move on to greener pastures.   Cherington may very well have a few pitchers who will step it up a notch in spring training knowing that the closer position will be up for grabs when ST2012 begins next February.  It should be an interesting thing to watch….

    • $6101468 4 years ago

      The shelf life of a closer is like that of an NFL running back so the risk/reward makes a resigning tricky. Paps could revert to the downward slide of 2010 or maintain the levels of 2011. Sox management could look like Svengali or a bunch of dolts in 4 years. Time will tell.

      Paps took a huge risk rejected any team friendly/player security contracts that would have eaten up some arbitration/FA years.  He gambled and won.

      Sox have been preparing for the inevitable by grooming Bard and even signing the now injured Jenks. Cherington did not have an opportunity to make a counter offer and IMO that translates to he (1) got his “strike price” and (2) wanted out of Boston.

      I tired of his act but Paps never made excuses.  Was open to the press. Appears to have some leadership abilities in a dysfunctional clubhouse. He performed well in the pressure cooker of Boston and I wish him well.

      Nice post, hawk.

  32. Keith Law is annoying.  A team could sign Pujols and he’d fine something to nitpick at

  33. Joseph Shmoseph 4 years ago

    None of those guys were elite.  At least answer the right question.  Law has fashioned an answer to the “do you overpay for crappy relievers posing as elite after one good season” question even though he thinks he answered the “do you pay a lot for an elite closer in/entering their prime” question.  They answer is we don’t know.  It worked for Rivera.  Lies.  Damn lies.  Statistics.

  34. VivaJackMurphy 4 years ago

    It could turn out he makes a quarter of a million dollars per INNING. Just unbelievable.

  35. ok the the phillies need another catcher since brian schneider is gone go get someone who is a leader in the club house like pudge rodriguez, then they need a ss go get furcal sign him he tore us up in the NLDS he wont ask for much not more then 5 mil jimmy is asking for like double that, and u need a 3b aramis Ramirez he will probably ask for too much but u can alson go after Kevin Kouzmanauff, then u need a LF go get johnny damon, jason kubel, grady sizemore, michael cuddyer, Yoenis Cespedas, Ryan Ludwick, and u need a rhp in the bullpen since theres no more lidge go sign jon rauch, david aardasma, scott linbrink, or pat neshek. go sign a bench player who plays everything but hits better then valdez Jerry Hairston Jr.

  36. $6101468 4 years ago

    Jenks will have back surgery soon.  Reports are he will be ready for ST.

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