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!