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Papelbon's deal one of the highest

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 18, 2011 08:06 PM

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In terms of one-year deals for arbitration-eligible players, Jonathan Papelbon didn't quite make history today. But he came close.

The record is $15.5 million for Prince Fielder, which also happened today. That is followed by $12.5 million for Mark Teixeira (2008 with Atlanta) and $12.4 million for Carlos Zambrano (2007 from the Cubs).

Anything is possible, but it sure looks like 2011 will be Papelbon's last year in Boston. With Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard on the roster, signing Papelbon to a long-term deal would seem unlikely.

It will be interesting to see whether pending free agency spurs Papelbon to a huge season or become a weight he struggles to carry. His personality is difficult to read. Sometimes it's good to be a little goofy and maybe this is one of those times.

A lot of people are asking how Jacoby Ellsbury received a 384-percent raise after playing in 19 games. Simply put, his salary was based on the totality of his career, not his accomplishments in 2010. That's how the process works.

At last count, 75 players had signed (and avoided arbitration) in the last 48 hours. There are a handful of players who will exchange figures with their teams but they have until at least Feb. 1 to make a deal.

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