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Papelbon trade considered

January 22, 2011

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The Red Sox considered trading closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox, Sports Illustrated reported yesterday.

Oakland instead signed Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour. The White Sox elected to give Jesse Crain a deal.

Papelbon’s arbitration number — $12 million — likely scared some teams off, and he had a rocky year in 2010 with eight blown saves.

Had the Sox traded Papelbon, they would have made a play for Rafael Soriano, according to the SI report. Soriano signed with the Yankees for three years and $35 million to set up Mariano Rivera. Soriano had 45 saves for the Rays last season.

Papelbon will be a free agent after the season and the Sox have an abundance of bullpen arms. If Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard look good and Dan Wheeler is productive, Papelbon could be shopped at the trading deadline.

PETER ABRAHAM

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