By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- Since taking over as general manager of the Red Sox before the 2003 season, Theo Epstein has never had a salary arbitrtion case go before before an arbiter.
That record is still intact.
Shortly before the club and players were set to exchange filing figures, the Red Sox settled with their two salary arbitration cases: reliever Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Papelbon, who made 9.35 million last year, signed for 12 million. Ellsbury, who missed all but 18 games last season, signed for 2.4 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Ellsbury also received some performance bonuses in his contract. He'll get 50,000 each for 600 and 700 plate appearances, meaning he'll max out at 2.5 million.
The Papelbon figure, coming in the reliever's last year of arbitration eligibility, is one of the highest settled figures for a pitcher. Earlier Tuesday, the Milwaukee Brewers and first baseman Prince Fielder avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, 15.5 million deal.
Papelbon's deal comes after his worst season since becoming Red Sox closer in 2006. He posted a career-high ERA of 3.90 and blew eight saves, his most ever, and as many as he compiled in the previous two seasons combined.
Papelbon is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season and has said he intends to see what the market has to offer.