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.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.