Friday, September 3, 2010

Pap: First With 35 Saves In First 5 Years

For all his struggles (this writer was at last year's implosion in the ALDS), Jonathan Papelbon has made history with the Boston Red Sox. No player before him has ever secured at least 35 saves in their first five seasons in the big leagues. Say what you will, this is an achievement he (and we) should be rightly proud of. That "Mo" guy in the Bronx—he didn't do it.

So, while some of the luster has come off his 9th inning schtick, Papelbon is probably worth keeping (at a relatively cheap rate) for another year. If the long-term goal is really to go with Daniel Bard as closer, one more year of apprenticeship can't hurt. Since he will be in a Boras-driven contract year, you can be sure Papelbon will want to put up the best numbers of his career. It's a win-win for all concerned.