Sox finish contracts, Papelbon signs for $755k
March 7, 2008 1 Comment
The Red Sox finalized the contracts of 18 players today, including that of their closer. Things seemed to go smoothly, as the Sox didn’t have to renew anyone outright, which can be a bad sign of player/club relations.
Well, Jonathan Papelbon got what he wanted. By signing a one-year deal for $755,000 today, he became the highest paid pre-arbitration closer in Major League history. From the Sox’ point of view, I think it demonstrates how much they value Papelbon, and they did the right thing by not letting this become an unnecessary issue, especially over a few hundred thousand.
Why that number? Well, Mariano Rivera made $750,000 his third full year as a Yankee. It seems Papelbon’s got a stubborn insistence on comparing himself to the future Hall of Famer; that’s fine, as he’s been able to back it up thus far, but I think Paps needs to have a little more respect for those who have gone ahead of him. If you want to get technical, Mo’s contract was from 1998, so in inflation-adjusted dollars, Rivera made a bit more. But whatever. It’s symbolic.
He’ll be earning quite a bit more than his peers, but it’s kind of silly to turn this into a respect thing so early, before players have any say in their salaries, really. Here’s what Joe Nathan had to say about Papelbon’s earlier comments about “setting the standard” for closers his age. Bobby Jenks is perhaps his closest comparable right now, and he’ll be earning $550k in 2008. Whatever floats your boat, Paps.