2009 Offseason: Sox settle arbitration cases, trade Aardsma

Two names were left on the salary arbitration docket, and Theo Epstein settled both of them today. Jonathan Papelbon signed a one-year, $6.25M deal, while Javier Lopez will get $1.35M for 2009. It was really just a matter of time, as the Red Sox have yet to go to arbitration with a player under Epstein’s tenure as GM.

Paps set a record salary for a closer in his first arbitration year, topping the $5.6M deal the White Sox announced for Bobby Jenks just yesterday. It is also well above the $4.25M Mariano Rivera (who Papelbon likes to compare himself to) received in his first arbitation-eligible season back in 1999. If you do a simple inflation calculation, that would translate into about $5.4-5.6M in 2009 dollars.

Aardsma traded to Seattle

David Aardsma, who was designated for assignment this week, was sent to the Seattle Mariners today. The hard-throwing 27-year old posted a high K-rate, but his performance was erratic after an injury sidelined him for parts of the second half of 2008. In return, the Sox get 20-year old left-handed pitcher Fabian Williamson. The 6-2 southpaw was taken in the 22nd round of the 2006 amateur draft. Williamson has posted some great K-rates and below average HR rates in rookie ball, but his BABIP numbers have been freaky high. With some defense behind him, he could develop into a pretty decent pitcher. Give credit to the Sox for getting something of value back for Aardsma, who they claimed last year off of waivers for a song.


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