A lot of Red Sox fans are wondering what the team will do for a closer now that Jonathan Papelbon has agreed to terms with the Phillies.
It’s a great question given all Papelbon’s accomplishments and his comfort pitching for the Red Sox. Being a closer for a team like the Red Sox is not easy duty.
But there’s little reason to panic.
In Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves and maybe even Bobby Jenks, the Red Sox have three pitchers on the roster who could handle the job. The free-agent market is also flush with relievers including Heath Bell, Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez, Jon Broxton and Ryan Madson.
It’s also worth noting that the Cardinals won the World Series with Jason Motte as their closer. He is a former catcher at Iona College who had three career saves before Aug. 28. Closers often times just show up. Alex Wilson, who pitched at Portland and Pawtucket, strikes me as somebody who has the stuff to close.
Papelbon is going to make an average of close to $12.5 million a year. Bard, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time, is probably going to make in the neighborhood of $1.6 million.
For Philadelphia, paying Papelbon that kind of money made sense. It obviously didn’t to the Red Sox.