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Papelbon likes idea of Santana trade

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  November 30, 2007 10:33 AM

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Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon likes the idea of trading with the Twins and having Johan Santana on his team next season.

“I like it,” said Papelbon on sports radio WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan show this morning when he was asked about his thoughts on a possible trade that could send center fielder Coco Crisp, lefthander Jon Lester, shortstop prospect Jed Lowrie, and righthanded pitching prospect Justin Masterson to the Twins for Santana, Minnesota’s prized lefthanded ace.

“Here’s how you gotta look at it, it’s simple, you put together a team to try to win a championship every offseason right?” Papelbon said. “OK, if you can do that, and obtain a guy that could help you do that, which you know he can help do that, you do it. Yes, you do have a lot of faith in these young kids, but whoever may be in the equation as a young kid, you don’t know what they’re gonna do at a big-league level. You don’t know if they’re capable of being on a championship club. You know that with Santana.”

While Papelbon seems OK with sending teammates Jon Lester and Coco Crisp packing for Minnesota, he’s hesitant to part with rising star Jacoby Ellsbury.

“No, you keep him,” Papelbon said.

The All-Star closer also said he’d like to get a long-term contract done before the start of spring training.

“Of course I’d like to get a long-term deal done, there’s no doubt about that,” Papelbon said. “It’s the logistics of getting that done is what’s hard. I’m definitely not afraid to take my resume to a court of arbitration, that’s for sure, if I do go to arbitration. That’s just something that probably the closer we get to spring training we’ll start harping on a little bit more.” Papelbon, who is currently under Red Sox control (as he has two years of major league service time under his belt), would be eligible for arbitration after the 2008 season.

“I don’t think that if, for me, the way I think so far, as of right now, if I don’t sign anything right now, then I’ll probably more than likely go to arbitration or something like that,” said Papelbon.

Last March, Papelbon signed a contract that paid him $425,500 in 2007, just $45,500 more than the major league minimum and a fraction of what most of his fellow pitchers in the bullpen made last season.

Listen to the full WEEI interview with Papelbon here.

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