MLB Free Agency: Philadelphia Phillies Sign Jonathan Papelbon over Ryan Madson

Shawn Sottosanti@@ShawnSottosantiContributor IIINovember 11, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 27:  Relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates getting the last out against the Baltimore Orioles during the Red Sox 8-7 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 27, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

In regards to signing an elite closer, the past week has been quite a whirlwind for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Less than one week ago, the Phillies had a four-year, $44 million deal lined up with previously incumbent closer Ryan Madson. The moment it became a "foregone conclusion" that Madson was set to return, the deal fell through. It was reported that team president David Montgomery was main reason why the deal didn't happen.

The Phillies continued to talk with Madson, but it is being reported by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, that they have gone in another direction, signing former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year deal, worth close to $50 million. Papelbon, who posted a 4-1 record with a 2.94 ERA last season, converted 31-of-34 save opportunities, and many believe was chosen over a very similar Madson (4-2, 2.37 ERA, 32/34 in save chances) because of his long track record as a closer, while this was Madson's first season as a full-time closer. 

Papelbon is a Type A free agent, so the Phillies will forfeit their first-round pick (last pick in the first round) to acquire him. In regards to the draft, the move could actually work to their benefit as another contender will likely sign Ryan Madson, who is also a Type A Free Agent and move the Phillies up in the draft order a few spots.

Now that the whirlwind is over and the Phillies have their closer situation solidified, the next question is: What's next the next move for the Phils?


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