McAdam at the GM Meetings: Does it make sense to trade Papelbon?

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McAdam at the GM Meetings: Does it make sense to trade Papelbon?

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Increasingly, you hear Jonathan Papelbon as a name the Red Sox would be willing to deal as the GM Meetings swing into their first full day.

But how much sense does that make?

First, Papelbon is coming off, inarguably, his worst season since becoming the team's full-time closer in 2006, posting a career-high 3.90 ERA and blowing a career-high eight saves. His trade value, in that sense, has never been lower.

Second, Papelbon is arbitration eligible and stands to make somewhere between 11 million-12 million for 2011. That would make him the third-highest paid closer in the big leagues behind only Mariano Rivera -- a free agent who will undoubtedly come close to the 15 million he was paid in 2010 -- and Francisco Rodriguez, who will make 11.5 million with the New York Mets.

Finally, there's the matter of Papelbon intent on filing for free agency after 2011 in his quest to become the new salary standard-bearer for closers. (Whether he becomes that will be determined by how well he bounced back next season).

So, any team trading for Papelbon will be paying him an enormous amount after his worst season, knowing that there is little to deter him from going onto the market next November.

Does that sound like a logical plan?

Conjecture is that if the Sox moved Papelbon, they could replace him with free agent closer Rafael Soriano, who was brilliant for Tampa Bay last season. But Soriano will be looking for a multiyear deal -- think at least three years, at least 10-12 million per season -- and the Sox have had an aversion to committing themselves long-term to relievers, even ones as good as Soriano.

Factor in that Soriano is about as old as Papelbon and has been nowhere near as durable and the risks are greater.

About the only scenario where moving Papelbon makes any sense is if the Sox are planning to non-tender him because of the money he stands to make in his final year of arbitration eligibility. The Sox have until Dec. 2 to tender contracts to players not under multi-year deals.

Non-tendering Papelbon would make him a free agent a year early, with the Sox getting nothing in return -- not even a draft pick in compensation.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.  

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020. 
 
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration. 

Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.