Well, the Phillies backed up the Brinks truck for Jonathan Papelbon. Noted Red Sock. I’m not going to bump the NFL Picks off the top of the page two straight weeks for a Phillies signing. Even if this is a much bigger signing than Jim Thome. Show some respect to NFL Pick ‘Em, Phillies. Sounds like Papelbon is going to get a slightly sweeter deal than the one Ryan Madson was supposedly getting at the start of the week. What happened there? Who knows? Someone was lying. Maybe the Phillies got tired of dealing with Boras. Maybe they realized if they’re going to drop all this cash maybe they should go with the guy who everyone outside of Philly thinks is the better closer?
This is going to be a pretty unpopular move. Mostly, because Papelbon is coming from Boston and that will take some time to get used to, but also because the fans overvalue their own players in some cases and Madson is perceived as lights-out when, in fact, Papelbon has the much stronger track record as a closer. There’s also the fact that Boston didn’t exactly finish with a bang this year, and any player associated with that has a bit of taint on them.
Here are some Stats:
- Papelbon 2011: 4-1, 2.94 ERA, .933 WHIP, 31 Saves, 64IP, 12.2 K/Per Nine
- Madson 2011: 4-2, 2.37 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 32 Saves, 60.2 IP, 9.2 K/Per Nine
2011 was Madson’s only and obviously best year as a closer. 2011 was a typical year for Papelbon. He’s been better (2007/2009) and he’s been worse (2010), but his numbers over his entire career are fairly consistent. He’s also about 3 months younger than Madson despite having the considerable edge in experience.
It seems as Phillies fans we just have to stop worrying about the money, because aside from the ridiculous, I can’t remember a time in the recent years when money has been an issue for the Phillies. I guess it’s time to adopt the Yankees mentality. And, like I said, this season offers the least amount of wiggle-room. Wouldn’t be surprised to see some back-loading. But, again, not our money.
From the Phillies’ standpoint your only concern here is that Papelbon will now be expected to be great, but to also out-perform Madson–wherever he ends up. The fans seemed pre-disposed to Madson, so if he was effective they wouldn’t have been comparing him to Papelbon at every turn. Now, the threat of Papelbon struggling is added to the concern of Madson developing into the closer Scott Boras thinks he can be in another uniform.
And, the Phillies still pretty much have their same club intact at this point, minus Rollins. You’d have to stretch to call the change in closer and the Gload/Thome reversal as anything more than lateral moves. I guess we’ll just sit back and wait for the next surprise. Maybe it’ll be the guy from Cuba. I don’t really want him, but that would be intriguing as hell. If we’re handing out money–why not?