You knew the Jonathan Papelbon sweepstakes would get interesting at some point, didn't you?
The Phillies are in a similar position as the Sox, and all signs recently pointed to them re-signing their closer, Ryan Madson, and at a hefty price too.
But not so fast, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Ryan Madson's future with the Phillies is once again in question after a deal that was in the works with his agent Scott Boras stalled before it reached the all-important signature stageA baseball source said Wednesday that the Phillies closer was ready to sign a four-year, 44 million deal with a fifth-year option at 13 million. But before it could be completed general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. needed to seek approval from team president David Montgomery."
If Montgomery does halt the deal, that would open the door for Papelbon to receive a similar offer from the Phillies -- one that would be a record high for a closer.
Papelbon has a career 2.33 ERA to go with 219 saves. He became the first player in MLB history to record six straight seasons of 30-plus saves, as he's been one of the most consistent closers since he entered the league.
For those reasons, if any closer is going to want a record-breaking contract, it's Papelbon.
Madson was strong for the Phillies last season, converting 32 saves and posting a 2.37 ERA in his first full season as a closer.
Key words there: First full season. If the Phillies are reportedly considering shelling out that type of dough for a closer with not much track record at the position, they'd do the same for Papelbon.
Would Ben Cherington match -- or beat -- the offer?