Relievers Notes: Wood, Madson, Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon became the first major free agent to change teams yesterday, agreeing to a four-year contract worth $50MM with the Phillies. Reactions to the contract were generally mixed, though almost everyone agreed that the size of the deal was staggering. Let's round up the latest from the relief pitcher market…

  • Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune reports that Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has had preliminary talks with Kerry Wood, who is expected to return next season. The 34-year-old righty pitched to a 3.35 ERA in 51 IP after returning to Chicago's north side on a below-market one-year, $1.5MM contract last winter.
  • Despite reports of a four-year, $44MM offer, MASN's Jen Royle hears from a source that the Phillies only offered Ryan Madson a three-year contract. They were unwilling to give him the extra year he wanted (Twitter link).
  • The Red Sox, meanwhile, were not willing to give Papelbon a guaranteed fourth year according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  •'s Peter Gammons reports (on Twitter) that the Red Sox offered Papelbon to the Braves in exchange for Javier Vazquez two offseasons ago. Atlanta rejected the offer, then traded Vazquez to the Yankees shortly thereafter.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote about how the rest of the closers' market is shaping up and the impact of Papelbon's contract. Here is our look at the trade and free agent markets for right-handed relievers.

36 Responses to Relievers Notes: Wood, Madson, Papelbon Leave a Reply

  1. LioneeR 4 years ago

    Vasquez for Papelbon?  I can’t imagine how good the Braves bullpen would have been with Papelbon, Venters, EOF, and Kimbrel.

    As a Braves fan I am not sure if I’d rather have had Pap or Viz/Melky/Dunn.  You have to remember that Viz is pretty electric himself, and that Dunn helped get Uggla to Atlanta.

    • Bob 4 years ago

      Wren made the right trade.

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

        Yeah, considering we have 5 years of Uggla with the help of Mike Dunn.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          I’m pretty sure Dunn wasn’t essential to that trade, you could have just sent another pretty much average loogy instead

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

            He was still part of the trade. You can’t predict who else would’ve been in the package to Florida if Dunn wasn’t in it. 

          • cobrasnake44 4 years ago

            I agree you can’t predict who else would have been traded in place of Dunn. But you also can’t predict a player signing an extension with your team after you trade for them. So u can’t over value the trade saying we got Uggla for 5 years when we didn’t know that for sure at that time, just like we don’t know how much Dunn was valued in the trade by the Marlins. Either way you look at it I think we came out good in that deal though.

          • Alldaybaseball 4 years ago

            Yea and Miami

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

            Actually no, it was Florida who we traded with. NOW it’s Miami. 

      • Guest 4 years ago

         Absolutely agree.

  2. BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

    I think we eon in the Yankees deal, and I think we would’ve won in a Red Sox deal. I would’ve been happy with two years of Pap, although, we wouldn’t have had the “big four” Just the “big three”.

    • biffsniff 4 years ago

      and Michael Dunn was flipped for Dan Uggla. Though I cant stop from salivating at the idea of O’Ventbrel + Paps.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        the braves literally sent no value to the marlins for uggla.. if you didn’t have dunn you would have just sent another schlep. 

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

        Yeah, but he would’ve been expensive if we decided to sign him this offseason. 4/50mil ;] We could’ve gotten 2 more relievers and an outfielder with that kind of money.

    • TheHotCorner 4 years ago

      But we may have had to trade one of the “Big Three” to get Uggla since we would not have had Dunn.  So we could now be looking at just having a “Big Two” as no way Liberty would have spent the money needed to keep Pap.  So I am glad we passed on the Red Sox offer as I don’t think it hurt not having him.

  3. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    it’s crazy to me, but props to papelbon. he went year-to-year for six seasons waiting for this payday and even in a buyer’s market he did exactly what he said he’d always wanted to do and received a record-setting contract

    he’s a dbag, but he earned it and took a lot of risks along the way

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Not crazy. He got what he wanted and fans in Boston should simply say congrats, thanks for your work, and hopefully we kick your a$$ in the World Series.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      I liked this because, well, you’re right, but also bc you pointed out that he’s still a dbag.

  4. Colin Christopher 4 years ago

    With Theo in Chicago, all I can think is that there’s a Tim Wakefield-type “eternally-recurring option year” contract in Kerry Wood’s future. This would be a good thing for Cubs fans, Kerry Wood, and Kerry Wood’s family.

  5. MLB_in_the_Know 4 years ago

    Would have loved to have Papelbon, however, due to his cost (through arbitration), the fact he would already be gone and the fact we got Vizciano (who may well end up being Papelbonish in the pen for 6 cheap years), plus Dunn (who we converted into Uggla), and plus (should be minus) Melky’s services for a year, it’s clear that Wren made the better trade.

  6. richaw44 4 years ago

    As a Braves’ fan I just don’t understand the need to get a LF bat.  Consider this:  if Uggla played LF, wouldn’t everyone be satisfied with his production?  Prado produces like a second baseman.  So those two have good production, just the wrong positions.  OK, no offensive deficit.  The offense does need to improve, but that should be via better At bats and a much better bench, and a better Jayson Heyward and Broune all year.  So leave Prado alone.  He brings flexibility and a bat with one off season.

    What am I missing?

    • We don’t play Uggla at 2B for his defense, we play him there because it makes him one of the best hitting 2B in baseball (or at least top 5 before last season).  So if we’ve got a big offensive boost at one position, do you say to yourself it’s ok to be below average at another that’s easy to fill?  No, you get another big bat to go there as well so your 2B bonus actually means something instead of simply offsetting the drop-off in LF.

      Note that I really like Prado and want to keep him, but only as a super-utility guy.

      • richaw44 4 years ago

        Ok TDKnies, I get what you say.  BUT, trade JJ + ?? for LF bat, not Prado, because as you say he makes a very good super utility guy.  Thanks

        • That’s my favorite scenario too.  I don’t know how likely it is to happen though.

        • MLB_in_the_Know 4 years ago

          For a midlevel payroll team, paying any player over $5 million to be a super utility is not an ideal use of funds.
          He should be a starting 2B or 3B, that’s where his value lies. He simply does not have that opportunity in Atlanta. Therefore, if you have a team that sees him as an All Star caliber 2B (remember, he did start the All Star game at 2B last year) and values him as such, we would get the most value out of him by trading him as such.
          Yes, he would make a great super utility player (if his salary still reflected such) however his greatest value lies as a starter, unfortunately for the Braves, it won’t be with them.

          • That’s all pretty relative to how other teams value him though.  I’d rather pay him $5 mil to log 400-ish at-bats rotating in at LF, 3B, 2B, and 1B (not to mention the fact that Chipper’s gonna get hurt at some point) than trade him for B- prospects.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 4 years ago

            All it takes is one team to view him as a possible All Star caliber INF and you will be able to get them to overpay for his services. 

            I am not saying that we should trade Prado for nothing, all I am saying is if you can get a team that views him as an everyday/high caliber player that is willing to pay for him, you explore those options.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 4 years ago

            All it takes is one team to view him as a possible All Star caliber INF and you will be able to get them to overpay for his services. 

            I am not saying that we should trade Prado for nothing, all I am saying is if you can get a team that views him as an everyday/high caliber player that is willing to pay for him, you explore those options.

      • Colin Christopher 4 years ago

        I like Prado too, and want to keep him, but I think the flaw in your argument is that it would be “easy to fill” Prado’s shoes in LF. His major league numbers from 2008-2010 suggest that last year was the outlier, and we can also assume that injuries played a role in his decreased production last year. Yes, I’m sure we could acquire an OF who we could probably get 20 HRs from, but is he likely to bat .300 and get on base 35-36% of the time? Will he be able to fill in at 1B, 2B, or 3B in case of injuries at any of those positions?

        I think it’s reasonable to expect 75-15-75 from a full season of a healthy Prado. Last season, 15 major league LFs hit more than the 15 HRs. Of those 15, five had more than 75 RBI AND more than 75 runs. (One of those five is Ryan Braun, who I think both of us would agree is a freak of nature who no LF alive deserves to be measured against.)

        Prado isn’t spectacular in any one facet of the game, but he’s a solid player in every facet of the game. His versatility makes him invaluable, but his injury-plagued production last season lowered his value. Keep him until the trade deadline, or even another full season, so that he can rebuild his value as a trade chip…and help the team, in the meantime.

        • meh, Prado’s in a weird spot.  It would be easy to replace his production in LF, but despite him being our LF he doesn’t spend as much time actually in LF as you’d expect him to.  The way we use him is like he’s still the utility guy but there’s a non-existant LF he’s always replacing until someone else gets hurt.

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

      You see, I said basically that and was criticized heavily for it. I completely agree, though.

  7. Daniel Dubay 4 years ago

    I thought that Rod Barajas was the first to switch teams this offseason.

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