It was increasingly known that closer Jonathan Papelbon would opt for free agency once the open market hit this offseason. Many speculated that he would be in the pinstripes of the New York Yankees.
Turns out, we were all half right.
As of last night, Papelbon agreed to don pinstripes, but not the kind we all expected. He came to an agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies, on a four year $50 Million dollar deal. All pending if he passes a physical with the team.
The moves answers a few questions. One being that the Sox are looking to make set up man, and flame-thrower Daniel Bard the closer for next season. The other, would be on the Phillies end. Where questions about the back end of their bullpen has come up. Papelbon solidifies that aspect.
Papelbon will always be remember in Boston for his quirky antics. Even, at one point dubbing himself "Cinco Ocho" after then, Cincinatti Bengal Chad Johnson legally changing his name to Chad Ochocino. His often, light hearted interveiws made him a fan favorite in Boston.
As for the playing aspect, Papelbon was the anchor since being named the closer in 2006 for the Red Sox. The one time starter, turned closer; was a huge reason the Red Sox were able to pull off a World Series run in 2007. Though, having a hiccup in 2010, he had a bounce back season of sorts in 2011. His accolades are something to behold as well. Being named the AL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and is the all time leader in saves for the Sox at 219.
The Phillies got exactly what they paid for, a dominant closer, who doesn't wince under pressure.