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Quick analysis: Red Sox may regret losing Papelbon

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  November 12, 2011 12:17 AM

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The Red Sox spent $142 million over seven years on Carl Crawford. They spent $82.5 million on John Lackey.

So $50 million for four years on Jonathan Papelbon was too much?

This is a decision the Red Sox might regret.

New GM Ben Cherington admitted he never made an offer to Papelbon, so the nutty reliever signed immediately with the Phillies, who made him a record offer

Papelbon was one of the good players on this team last year. He was actually one of the accountable players, a stand-up guy, who was in great shape and worked like a maniac and who at 30 years old, is really not that old for a closer and the investment the Phillies just made isn't crazy.

The Red Sox seem to hold the line on some players and not on others. They held the line on Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre and Jason Bay but not on Crawford and Lackey?

The Red Sox feel they can fill the job just fine either with Daniel Bard or with one of the free-agent closers out there a Ryan Madson, who was just scorned by the Phillies, or a Heath Bell. But are these guys Papelbon? Don't think so.

Papelbon is battle-tested in the AL East and in the postseason. Some of the results have been better than others, but overall, he's been one of the best in the game for a long time and now they've let him go.

Are the Red Sox trying to cut payroll after spending so much on Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez without making the playoffs? They're already on record as saying they'll go cheap on their fourth and fifth starters. They didn't raise ticket prices after the September collapse and the managerial search has involved a few no-names.

Right now, there isn't too much excitement coming from Yawkey Way.

Will they do something to change the vibes? Or are they taking a step back?

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