The Boston Red Sox and RHP Jonathan Papelbon have agreed to terms for a one-year contract worth $775,000. This amount almost doubles what the All-Star was making last season ($425,550) but still leaves question marks about the young stars future with the team. Many were expecting the Red Sox to offer a multi-year contract extension before the season started. After this contract expires at the end of 2008, Papelbon will be eligible for salary arbitration and will most likely demand a multi-year deal.
“I feel a certain obligation not only to myself and my family to make the money that I deserve but for the game of baseball,” he said Tuesday in a spring training locker room interview. “Mariano Rivera has been doing it for the past 10 years and with me coming up behind him I feel a certain obligation to do the same.”
The 27-year-old had another great season last year saving 37 games in 40 attempts with a 1.85 ERA. Some consider him to be the games best closer, but he hasn’t let that impact his consistency on the mound. Manager Terry Francona made sure to monitor his innings in 2007 so that he would be at his best when the team needed him the most and it certainly paid off during the post season run. He saved 3 of the 4 games in the World Series en route to another Red Sox championship.
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein was glad that Papelbon agreed on the one-year deal. Epstein said on redsox.com, “He’s going to be here a really long time. This isn’t his last contract. The relationship between him and the club is a really strong one. I don’t think something like this was going to get in the way.”