Not much to add here. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports the Phillies have reached a 4-year, $50 million-dollar deal with an [updated] rumored vesting option that will bring the total tell to nearly $60 million, pending a physical, with free agent closer and douche emeritus Jonathan Papelbon.

These reports conflict previously published, taken-as-gospel, and roundly scorned reports that the Phils had a deal in place with Ryan Madson. The terms were public and everything! Now we have to consider the Phillies might just have lost their minds that much more!

If there is one thing an aging team with the best rotation of all time needs, it’s a high-priced free agent closer, even if it means forfeiting a first-round draft pick in the process.

It is very easy to forget that, for all his faults, Jonathan Papelbon is an amazing reliever. One of baseball’s very best since he entered the league. He has the most WAR since 2006, the lowest FIP (2.45) and the fifth-highest strikeout rate of any reliever notching 200 innings over that timeframe.

His is also a proven playoff performer, with only three runs allowed in 27 career post-season innings. He’s also incredibly durably, missing time for a shoulder injury in 2006 with a clean bill of health since. If a Proven Closer is what the Phillies want, they got it.

They also blew the closer market away, spending an incredible amount of money on a relief pitcher when they seemingly had their own player ready to re-sign for less money and without the added expense of a draft pick (a draft pick, it should be noted, they’ll get back when Madson signs somewhere else.)

But the Phillies are the Phillies. And Papelbon is a Papelbon. His slow-working ways are off to the National League for the first time in his career. Wow. Enjoy, Phillies fans! Good luck trying to talk yourselves into this one!

Comments (16)

  1. Ding dong Papelbon’s gone?

    If true, I may actually miss being part of the crowd at the SkyDome heckling the crap out of him. Those were good times even if it resulted in a loss for the Jays.

    I won’t miss him on TV though. IMO, he is the most annoying pitcher to watch.

  2. I was at the Jays/Red Sox game on Labour Day when he took one million years to throw 27 pitches. (24 minutes, to be precise)

    There was some seriously good heckling going on there. Especially because it was like hour 3.5, the score was tied at 0, and it was freezing.

    • Yep – I was the guy yelling, “Hey, Papelbon, home plate’s over there!”

      Enjoy, all ye Phillie fans – Papelbon would not have had a very fun year in Toronto (I would have helped make sure of that).

      • Yup…I was at that one too. Furiously yelling at Papelbon the following…

        “Hey Papelbon! I recommend you try another sport…like knitting!!”

        Drew a few laughs and some dirty glares from wannabe sox fans…

        • I tip my cap to you for the Fubar reference, job well done! My favourite heckle that day (actually it was more so just a direction than a heckle) was “THROW THE BALL!”

          By the end of the game, I was so numb from all the blown opportunities that Lawrie’s home run really didn’t sink in until the subway ride home.

  3. Wow.

    In terms of draft picks they’re actually in a better position than they would have been if they’d signed Madson (assuming some other team signs him and is willing to give up their first-rounder – then Philly gets that plus a sandwich pick). But this is still completely ridiculous.

  4. What’s saddest about this post is that since Parkes* sold out and took his blog mainstream, there is not a single reference to Papelbon and his amorous ways towards pigs.

    * I recognize Parkes did not author this post.

  5. In our household we refer to Papelbon as a ‘bacon enthusiast’ when small ears are around!

  6. Signing relievers to huge contracts like this is stupid, but it is nice to actually see an ownership in baseball that is willing to spend to win.

    • While they have a window, that is. The Phillies probably don’t have that much longer at the top.

  7. Is it bad baseball to drive up the cost of relief pitching for your less-well-heeled competition?

    (I’m trying to be charitable as I like the Phils.)

  8. Also: Madson won’t get over $40m anywhere else. Dumby!

  9. the phils can’t let the marlins get reyes and pujols.

    i bet if they signed pujols they could probably pawn howard off to st.lou.

    maybe mcgwire can teach how not to swing and miss at a curve ball.

  10. Hate the idea that Boston is going to get another 1st round pick. Maybe Philadelphia can sign a higher-ranked FA?

  11. Papelbon is certainly an improvement over Madson. Philly needs to win now, if he helps contribute to winning a WS in the next two years then this deal is totally worth it even if his arm falls off afterwards. I recall KLaw saying on the ESPN podcast in the summer that Papelbon is an outlier with respect to relievers for health and performance.

    Would someone really give up a 1st round pick for Ryan Madson?

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