According to a source close to the negotiations, J-Pap has a one year deal in place with Boston for a reported 9.35 million. Theo and the Sox apparently waited until just before the arbitration deadline to lock up the Sox closer for 2010.
At just over 9 million, the deal doesn't put Pap in the "highest paid closers" bracket that he wants to be in....but it's nothing to sneeze at. T Murph says Pap wanted 10, Theo countered with 8, and this is how it shook out. That said, consider the source on that one.
Quick research shows that Pap now sits just outside the top 5 closers when it comes to salary (didn't Billy Wagner get 10 and change from the Braves right before his arm fell off?). There are still a number of closers making significantly more than Pap, with Mo setting the gold standard at 15 million per year.
Also, give some quick thought to how many mediocre starting pitchers make well over 10 million dollars a year (Oliver Perez, Derek Lowe (15!), Bronson Arroyo, Jeff Suppan, Dontrelle Willis....and I'm pretty sure Rick Vaughn made more than 10 per as well....yes, that Rick Vaughn). Tough to be too mad at 9.35 million for a guy to close out games for a 170 million dollar team.
So despite the "Papelbon fatigue" we're all feeling of late as a result of the running of his mouth, a mediocre 2009 by Pap's high standards, and the horrible memory from early October 2009......Sox fans shouldn't be upset with this deal.
Besides, it gives us another year for Bard to continue to wet his feet and pitch a greater number of close and late innings....and sets up the possibility of trading Pap in the future if need be (to keep him away from the Yanks).
I'm far from ready to swear off Papelbon, but I think this continues the Sox along the right future path.
Is it time for Spring Training yet?