Papelbon rejuvenated

It was interesting today to hear Jonathan Papelbon talk about how utterly spent he was at the end of the ALCS last year, and no, he would not have been able to pitch in Game 7 if a save situation had emerged.

That said, he is fully healthy and looking forward, he said, to becoming the Red Sox’s all-time saves leader. With 113, he currently trails Bob Stanley by 19.

“I feel really
good. Obviously last year, toward the end of the ALCS I was starting to kind of
break down and start to feel the effects of the season and I’m not going to sit
here and deny that I didn’t. For me, it was, I think with our season the way it was, we had a
couple of injuries with our starters. When your starters go down, it tends to
have a domino effect on your bullpen. I think that our bullpen had to pick up a
little bit of extra work, which I don’t think any one of us in our bullpen
weren’t willing and able to do. It’s just that was the effect of it. When you
start picking up extra innings that you’re not used to, you’ve got to kind of
learn kind of use that throttle.”

His unavailability for Game 7: “It was a
situation that, yeah, if we would have gone into extra innings or something, that
might have been a different story. I wanted to be able to pitch in the World
Series and be able to partake in it and not go down and have some injury affect
me from being able to do that.”

On not signing long-term a la Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia: “I’m not
disappointed. I think that this offseason we discussed a long-term deal but it
never really transpired into anything that made both sides happy. I don’t think
that anything really came of it. I think the big thing is that we were able to
come to an agreement with a one-year deal and I think that the Red Sox stepped
up big for me, there’s no question, with that one-year deal.”

“If you would ask
me, of course I would like a long-term deal. there’s no question about it. I’m
not one of those guys who would be willing to give up what I feel that I’m
worth to get that security. I don’t know. I’m just really happy to be where I’m
at right now, especially at this time where the economy is down, baseball is
down, everything is kind of in a little rut right now and for me to be able to
go out there and sign that contract, I feel completely blessed.”

44 Comments

Interesting that Papelbon says he is unwilling to give up what he thinks he is worth to gain the security of a long-term deal. Someone needs to explain to him the meaning of the word “tradeoff”. That’s what security is, it’s a tradeoff, you give up a little short term income for long term security. It’s like buying insurance, in this case income insurance. That doesn’t come free, or at least it shouldn’t. Now we know why he didn’t get a long term deal, he’s not ready for one. He needs to learn a little about negotiations and give and take, not just take. He has stated before that he wants to be the highest paid man in his field, so that may mean he has to give up the idea of having a long contract. Unless it’s with the Yankees. They are the only team that will make you the highest paid guy AND give you a 10 year contract. Not a sound business model, but they don’t have to follow a sound business plan.

(I’m not even sure Kramer thinks we SHOULD trade Bay).
Greg,
Thanks. It?s tough being misunderstood. Bay is very talented and trading him would hurt the Sox, no doubt about it, and I?m not advocating it. Any trading piece should be from an area that the Sox have plenty of depth or someone easy to replace with comparable talent. Holliday would be the guy to go after IF it takes trading Bay to get a top catcher. This is no ?shot? against Bay or the Sox!!!

I hope that in time Pap will realize that signing a long term deal with the Red Sox is in his best interest. Ian – what do you think of the reports that the decision has been made and Lugo will be the starting SS?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

DBen,
The numbers I posted show Bay so close to Holliday that the likely salary each will command is not worth a straight swap. Another potential FA outfielder is Nady. He is below Bay and Holiday but has a RF arm and can play both corners. Nady IS a Boras client! I’m not sure about the other two.

Kramer…

Too get a top catcher I don’t think Bay would be a part of the trade. Texas has some good young catchers ( we all know that ) Texas would like too get some good young arms in return for one of there young catchers.

Papelbon is certainly one of the best closers in the game. That being said, he certainly isn’t one of the brightest players too play the game. Arnie….I am in agreement with you about Papelbon. I’m not sure if Papelbon has ever used his Miss. State education, then again does that even exist??? LOL!!!

Kramer,

Why are we even mentioning dealing Bay? Please explain. I eagerly await your reply.

Julia,
Ouch! I’m in the Lowrie camp (preference for the kids!)
Could Lugo play the OF? Is he practicing his peanut toss?

Brian,
Just because I think the biggest Sox challenge is the future catcher and how to get a great one!!! It’ll take more talent to get the best!!!

It appears Theo will wait to see how ST effects the value of Bard, Bowden, Buchholz, Johnson, and Richardson. The discussion is catcher and potential trade chips, not Bay!

Hi guys (and I see we have a couple of new females here!)!!
I thought I’d stop in for a minute. I almost have all of the funeral “stuff” taken care of, but I had to stop by.
I’m getting very excited about the season and our guys.
All the threads Ian has written have been very interesting late night reading for me. I think that barring injury, we are lined up for a GREAT season!!!
Me.

I’m going to try an Ellen trick____Ellen, how you doin’? Hang in there, we’re thinking of you____and paste in a post from the last thread. Here goes…..

Brian,
You nailed it exactly when you use the word “balanced” to describe the Sox’ line-up. Looks like only Papi will be likely to hit 40 home runs, but if you go position by position you find that there is no shortage of power, it’s just spread evenly throughout the batting order.
At first base you can estimate Youk to hit 25 to 30 homeruns, 25 being more likely. 2nd base, I’d pencil in DP for 15 maybe 18. SS who knows? Let me take a wild guess and say Jed is our opening day SS and that he will hit 12 home runs. 3rd base, I’d put Mike at 25 HR’s. Left rield, JB gives us 30, maybe 35 if he figures out how to golf them over the Monster. Center, 10 to 12. Right, if JD stays healthy, excuse me a moment, I’m laughing and can’t see the keyboard…………… there, that’s better; right field might be good for 25 HR’s. Catcher, let’s say 10 to 15. That gives you 5 spots in the batting order with at least 20 home runs. And if Dustin gets his power going it could be 6. Not too shabby. I’d rather have 5 or 6 players who can hit for average and some power coming at you than 2 with awesome power and then a big drop-off. The Sox will score plenty of runs and even better, they will keep the pressure on the pitchers all through the line-up. If Varitek makes a come back this year it will be a very difficult line-up to pitch to because so many of the hitters can hurt you. The Sox will wear down the opposition. Look at it this way: would you want to go up against them day after day? They have good starting pitching, good defense, good bullpen, they get on base all the time, can steal bases, can hit for average, gap power and home run power. Their core players, Youk, Dustin, Tek, etc. never let up they fight you all the way. This is a team of all-around players and I like their chances.

Look at that, it works!

Brian, trading Bay had come up on a previous thread when Kramer postulated it as part of the “catcher of the future” question, and how to replace Tek with that catcher down the road. One idea was to trade Bay as part of that pkg if he were not to sign a long-term deal. That’s also how Holliday came into the discussion.

But I am with you. We don’t need to trade Bay at all. We need to sign him to that extension, and I think Bay and the FO are willing to get that done. I think that will happen by mid-season, if not sooner. I still think a trade will happen to get a future catcher, but I do not think Bay will be part of that trade. GO SOX!

Ellen, so glad to hear from you. I hope you are holding up. We are thinking about you and your family. Take care.

Did I just read that there has possibly already been a decision made in the SS sweepstakes?? OH NO!!!! PLEASe NOT LUGO. The was I see it, Jed has SO much more on the upside than Lugo. 1) AGE 2) HEALTH 3) SKILLS (although I will say I looked at Lugo’s career stats and they arent THAT bad until last year) but I think that with Lowrie being younger that he’s more flexible, both physically and mentally and 4) if Lugo can be packaged properly than Lowrie would be a cheaper option too!

Arnie, closers are a different breed. Nearly all of them have a screw loose somewhere. If it weren’t for Rivera and Smoltz being closers, I would think it was part of the job description! Anyone from Eck to Mitch Williams to John “Off His” Rocker could be proof of that! Hmmm…

Thanks everyone!!! i’ll be back “full time” soon, and let me say, putting all this behind me, I CANT WAIT!!

Hey Julia – where are you getting that news? Hmmm? Maybe you are hearing more in New England than we hear south of the Mason Dixon line. I’m with EllenC – say it ain’t so!
I have a question… perhaps this is a dumb question but you guys are smart so I’m sure you will enlighten me…
Didn’t Bronson Arroyo take less money from the Red Sox just so he could get a multi year contract – then they dealt him to Cincinnati? Am I remember that incorrectly? Seem like a multi year contract is not necessarily a security blanket for the player then, is it?

Thanks,
Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Julia, I hope that scenario put forth by McAdam (in the Boston Herald) doesn’t hold true. Lowell may be rehabbing, but Lugo is coming off an injury of his own. Lowrie, on the other hand, may have played a utility role in the Minors, but he has to demonstrate that he can do that at the Majors level. He hasn’t done that yet. Also, your characterization (on her blog) that Lugo is “most comfortable” at SS is a little generous. He hasn’t exactly shown that he is “comfortable” anywhere! :/

Jen, that is my recollection about Arroyo. One (possibly unintended) side effect of those “lower” salary figures is that a player can become a more affordable trading chip if another team, such as Cincinnati, shows an interest in that player. The opposite is also true–the high salary figures that we’ve granted Drew and Lugo have made them difficult to trade, because no one else can afford them (unless we pay their salaries)!

Lugo has several comfort zones: he can sell peanuts at Fenway and focus on the accuracy of his tosses; he can work in the garage as a lugnut mechanic; and if an additioonal cushion can be provided, he can be made more comfortable sitting on the bench. Also, if he can be traded, perhaps the Sox will give him a one way First Class ticket.

Greg – Glad I wasn’t imagining things re: Arroyo. So true about Drew and Lugo. I just read the article that Julia linked to on her blog. I am stunned by how much money Lugo is getting. GRRR.

Jennifer

http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Jen,
When a player signs a multiyear contract for a reasonable salary the contract guarantees that the salary is paid. It does not guarantee that you will not be traded unless you have a no-trade clause. A player of Papelbon’s status could demand a no-trade clause so that he could choose where he wants to play. Arroyo was not in that class of player to command a no-trade.
Both teams and players make mistakes when negotiating. Arroyo made the mistake of thinking he would sign with the Sox and then play for them. Theo turned around and traded him. Theo made the mistake of signing Lugo for too much money for too many years. Lugo turned around and underperfomed. There are few guarantees.

Brian Giles Likes Red Sox, Yankees, Angels-Tim Dierkes
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/02/brian-giles-lik.html

Kramer, I’m glad Giles likes us (and the Yanks) that much. I don’t know that we should like HIM that much! Hmmm…

Greg,
I thought that was very funny. At his age he’ll be lucky to get a DH job…………….if the NL adopts it!

Jen, to build on Arnie’s point, that “guarantee” of the contract getting paid is what Lowell would have been assured of if we had acquired Tex and traded Lowell. Mike would have been paid according to the financial terms of the contract, but Lowell still could have been traded. That’s just the business of baseball, and Lowell found that out–again–with all the talk about acquiring Tex. We should just be glad that it did not turn out that way. But it could happen again, with him, or with another player.

Kramer, don’t bet on that NL DH thing anytime soon.

Arnie, sounds like that old Byrds (and from the Bible) “Turn,Turn,Turn” lol.

Ellen, the good old days of music.

Arnie – You should be the baseball business professor! Thanks for explaining that whole thing to me. I have read about the types of players with no-trade clauses, etc. I forgot about that part. Thanks for clearing it up. And I hear you on the mistakes part. Indeed.
Greg – I, too, am glad that Mikey is staying with the Red Sox. A friend of mine in Miami knows his sister-in-law (I believe that’s the correct relative). She told me that he absolutely loves playing for the Red Sox and hopes to remain in Boston.
Thanks, guys!
Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Arnie..

I agree with your H.R. projections. Bill James and all of the stat rats would be proud. LOL!! Ortiz is the only one as you say with potential of 40 longballs. I would say Ortiz and Bay will be the only guys with 30 or more H.R.’s. Probably in the low 30’s for those guys. Too bad the Sox can’t count on Drew. He is a type of player that can carry a team for a few weeks. Look no further than last June. Drew and his hangnails and having a hair out of place, among other things. I’m sure the guy has a stiff back but he isn’t made for the long haul. We all know that.

Lugo is making 9 million and usually that much $$$$ will find there way into the lineup. That is alot of money just sitting there and doing nothing. Then again Lugo on the field is almost nothing.

Ian – Just want to say I _really_ enjoy the full-length interviews you provide on your blog.

I didn’t want that to go unsaid, as I am not a normal contributor to the comments, but still a regular reader of the blog. There are a lot of us out there. :)

Let’s face it the Sox pay Lugo exactly $9,250,000 a year to play ss and not to watch baseball from the dugout. I for one prefer Lowrie to Lugo. Barring the trade and horrible ST, Lugo would likely be the starting ss on opening day. Things work in mysterious way. Somertimes the best comes out the least expected and Lugo perhaps will return to his 2005 form and shape.

Why are people still mentioning trading Bay? Where is the logic there? Trade Lugo instead!

im wondering if the sox still might make a trade with texas….maybe one larger than most expect where texas includes young and one of the up and commin catchers for a package of pitchers and poss lowrie….i personally think lowrie is a future shortstop who is steady but not flashy ss and produces well offensively….but……a young catcher is vital….judge

7777…

Young’s contract is insane, not worth the $$$$$. If Texas does give up one of there young catchers, I’m guessing a young arm must go too Arlington, Tx. The Rangers are always in desperate need of pitching.

Sorry guys, I’ve been working out getting ready for the season. I’m spending most of my time sitting by the phone waiting for Theo to call, but with the acquisition of Penny and Smoltz, it’s taking a little longer this year.

Craig, our paths will cross one of these days. I have never been to Vegas and it’s one of the things on my Bucket List. I look forward to meeting you. By the way, if any of you haven’t checked out Arnie’s cooking video, you need to do it. It’s classic and as good as anything you’ll see on the Food Network. Can’t wait to get to Boulder.

Now, about Papelbon. I think both sides are approaching the situation wisely. Pap is getting as much as he can while he can. On the other side, the Sox are paying him a reasonable salary, one year at a time, and not investing huge sums of money in a pitcher who has had fatigue issues at the end of the previous two seasons. He talks about having had to take on more innings last year, but I don’t think 67 appearances and 69 innings is unreasonable for a closer. I think he becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season, so it will interesting to see how his arm holds up and what direction this thing goes.

A comment about A-Rod. When it’s all said and done, at the end of his current contract, A-Rod will have made right around $470M. That’s well over twice as much as the three guys who have a chance to make it to $200M and they are Jeter, Zazu and Teixeira. That being said, why all the BS? You think he’s really sorry for what he did? It’s a tragedy though, because at the end, he could have been a true American Icon right along side of Gehrig, Ruth, Williams, Mays, Aaron, etc. ….. and he could have done it without that crap.

Jason Bay is the most legitimate HR threat in the Sox lineup. I’d consider batting him 4th behind Papi, but if not, then 5th behind Youk. I don’t see Papi hitting 40 HRs. He just won’t get the pitches to hit. What I’d like to see from him is a .330 average with a grunch of doubles and maybe 30 HRs. He’s got to use the whole field to do that. Otherwise it’s going to be .275 and a not so productive year. He needs to understand that the number of runs he scores are at least as important as the number he drives in and that there are some good bats behind him that can drive him in.

Well, I gotta go work out now. You never know when that call might come.

Paps is a loose cannon.
To me – the read between the lines is: It’s all about the Benjamins.

Closers are a different kind of breed; they’re like fighter jet pilots, you know?

But at least we’ve got him for this year.

Rebecca
http://supergoddessgirl.blogspot.com

Rebecca….

Would that be D. Benjamin? LOL…

Brian, how many Dbenjamins do you think it would get to sign Pap for long term?

Garry….
If D. Benjamin charges by the word….That would be lots and lots of $$$$. lol.
Very funny…Good line. We were all wondering where you were? I still can’t believe nobody has contacted you as of yet. Nationals??? Rangers??? At least an invite too Spring Training.

K-Rod got how much this past season? I think B.J. Ryan has signed the biggest deal for a closer. Papelbon is one the elite closers in the game but Boston should have some concern about him.

Yeah, BJ Ryan got $47M for 5 years, K-Rod got $37M for 3 years. Way too much money in both cases. With his motion, I think K-Rod is destined for arm issues. I also think his saves record is garbage. He made 76 appearances last year pitching 68 innings. That tells me he compiled a significant number of saves having to get only one or two outs. He also compiled a significant number where he entered the game with a three run lead. He also had 7 blown saves last season. On the other hand, Pap pitched many times in non-save situations. He also got credit for a couple of blown saves where he came into a dire situation and maybe allowed an inherited runner to score. Given the choice between K-Rod and Pap, I’m taking Pap.

Brian, I have 31 other offers, but I’m loyal to the end and holding out for a call from Theo. I did that other team thing once before with the Seattle Pilots, and I went to bed crying every night because I felt like a traitor. You may remember my brief stint with the Rangers last season where I snuck in during the last inning to give up the HR to Youk in the 19-17 game. I felt really good about helping out the old home team….. LOL!

Garry…

I agree very much about the Blue Jays and Mets over-paying. Also with K-Rod he hasn’t gotten in done in October. He burst on the scene as a set-up guy and smoked everyone away during the playoffs back in 2002. He was HUGE and a big reason why the Angels won in that year. The Mets are paying quite a bit of money for a closer in 2009. Wagner is still on the books this season ( Wagner will miss the entire 2009 season ) and K-Rod’s salary on top of that. I never understood the signing of B.J. Ryan by the Jays. With or without him, the Jays weren’t going anywhere anyway. Money not well spent by both the Jays and Mets. When it comes too closers, Mariano Rivera is the one that is worth the risk for a long term contract. I love Papelbon but I am not sure if I would invest more than 4 years in him. Same way with starting pitchers. Halladay is a pitcher that would be the exception when it came too starting pitchers and long term contracts. Johan Santana as well would be worth the long term investment. Burnett and Sabathia….I would have never ever given that kind of $$$$$$. Desperate teams do desperate things! I’m guessing Penny will win more games than Burnett in 2009. The best part is Penny has only a 1 yr. deal in Boston. If Penny has a great year, it is a win win for everyone all around!

Garry…

Was that you on the mound when Youk hit that H.R.? I knew I had seen you somewhere before. LOL!! If Charlie Zink can pitch in the big leagues, you certainly can. Your loyal???? I never knew that word existed in this world anymore. LOL!!

Hey, Brian, I thought we’d established that Zink can’t pitch in the Big Leagues! Since he’d gotten DFA’ed with a ST invite, maybe we can “assign” him to be that “tour guide”! ;) (“And over here on our left, ladies and gentlemen, we have Lugo making another fielding error…”)

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