BOSTON -- The Red Sox didn't get the chance to match the Phillies' free-agent offer to Jonathan Papelbon, but general manager Ben Cherington wasn't offended by that.
In fact, Cherington -- knowing that Papelbon and his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, were seeking a four-year contract -- never made a contract proposal to his veteran reliever.
"There wasn't enough common ground to reach an agreement," explained Cherington, who doesn't want to give four-year contracts to closers in their 30s. "So we didnt make an offer because of that."
Had Papelbon not gotten a four-year offer on the open market, Cherington was willing to reopen negotiations.
We certainly wanted to leave the door open if we got deeper into the offseason and circumstances changed for either side that perhaps there was something that could have been worked out," he said.
Not was he surprised -- or offended -- that the Levinsons didn't call the Sox for another proposal after getting their offer from the Phillies.
I dont think Papelbon owes us a phone call back based on the conversations Ive had with Sam and Seth," said Cherington, who added "we werent going to be able to bridge that gap in the length of contract Papelbon was seeking."
Still, he admits he'll miss the man who's been the Red Sox closer since the third game of the 2006 season.
I have a lot of admiration for Pap," said Cherington, "and wed love to have him on the team still.