According to Gordon Edes of NESN.com and ESPNBoston.com, it is reported that the Red Sox have come to terms with Jonathan Papelbon to a one year deal worth $9.35 million and up to $9.5 million with incentives.
Papelbon certainly takes a hefty increase from his 2009 salary as he continues his dominant tenure as the Red Sox closer. This likely is the better deal for Boston; they probably felt this move needed to be made because Papelbon could have made up to $11 million dollars in arbitration.
In other related news, the Red Sox also came to terms on deals with relief pitchers Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen for roughly $905,000 dollars for one year each. This means that these two will also not be filing for arbitration next month as they have reached a contractual agreement with the Boston Red Sox.
In my opinion, this was a very smart move for Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox, because it will likely save them a good chunk of money on Jonathan Papelbon for next season. As well as the reliable Ramon Ramirez, and the inconsistent Manny Delcarmen.
Despite struggling for most of his 2009 campaign, Jonathan Papelbon is still a key asset to the Red Sox organization; I, for one, believe that Daniel Bard needs another year under his belt before even beginning to contend for Papelbon's role as closer. This season, as well as the 2011 season, are vital for Bard because he must prove that he can remain consistent and that he is a better investment for the future. As opposed to Papelbon, whose WHIP went up almost a total point last season.
Epstein still has one more case for arbitration to deal with in Jeremy Hermida, and while he is set to make some decent money, especially since he now works for a richer organization compared to the Florida Marlins, he is in line for a raise. Maybe Theo can come to terms on an agreement with the man who has a lot to prove this upcoming season.
Nonetheless, the Red Sox made three smart signings and each of these players are still eligible for arbitration beyond next season (more for Ramirez and Delcarmen). The key player signed here is Papelbon and I really cannot stress enough how important it is that he make a solid comeback from his rough 2009 season.
This article is also found at Boston Sox Journalism