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A Week in Review for the Boston Red Sox: 01/18-01/25

ProBaseball-fans.com Boston Red Sox Correspondent Elizabeth Dreeson brings us her latest update on Red Sox Nation.


Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein continued his legacy of avoiding arbitration hearings with players by signing Jonathan Papelbon to a one year $6.25 million dollar deal. This one-year contract set a record for arbitration eligible closers, and has made Papelbon the richest. This deal came quite quickly after White Sox closer Bobby Jenks agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.6 million dollars. Jonathan Papelbon, who has been with the Red Sox since 2005, has truly earned this $5.72 million dollar increase. He has a career record of 13-10 with a 1.84 ERA. His ERA is the lowest in Major League history since 1900 among pitchers with at least 200 innings. Papelbon, 28, has tossed a record 25 scoreless postseason innings, and is one of four pitchers ever to record thirty or more saves in each of his first three, full, big-league seasons. This does not mean that negotiations are through with Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox. A long-term deal still could be in the works, but Papelbon seems to be satisfied with this one-year deal.

Boston Red Sox merchandise The Red Sox have another man whose contract has yet to be settled. Ever since declining arbitration, there had not been much concrete evidence that Varitek would in fact make a return to the Red Sox. It seemed as if the front office was looking to go younger by looking into Texas’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and signing Josh Bard to a one-year deal. However, a few days after Jason Varitek and Red Sox owner John Henry met at Varitek’s Atlanta home, without Varitek’s agent Scott Boras, the Sox have offered Varitek a contract. The contract could potentially guarantee a second season, or contain incentives that would make a second year attainable. It was reported that Varitek was unaware that by declining arbitration, other teams would be forced to relinquish to draft picks if they chose to sign him. It seems odd that the twelve-year veteran was unaware of this process. No other offers have been made for the captain of the Red Sox, even though Scott Boras was absolutely positive that there would be. In 2008, Varitek made $10 million dollars but when he declined the $10-$12 million dollars he could’ve made by accepting arbitration, it is almost a given that he will not be making as much.


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Sean Casey announced his retirement earlier in the week. The veteran third baseman spent twelve years in the majors, eight of which were played with the Cincinnati Reds. In his last season, as a backup first baseman for the Red Sox, he batted .322 in 199 at-bats. Casey was a three time All-Star, and hit .302 for his career with 130 home runs and 735 RBIs. Nevertheless, Casey is nowhere near being done with baseball for he has signed on for an undefined role with the recently debuted MLB Network.

By Elizabeth Dreeson
ProBaseball-fans.com Red Sox Correspondent

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