Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe takes a look at the options the Red Sox have with Jonathan Papelbon this winter. Papelbon still has a reputation as an elite closer despite his 7 blown saves this season and his stats headed for the dumpster. The Red Sox have 3 options on what to do with him- keep him, trade him, or non-tender him. If the Sox keep him, which appears to be the route that Theo will go with him, he will more than likely get a substantial raise, from $9.25m to somewhere in the neighborhood of $13m.
It is completely mind boggling that an employee of a company who's work performance declines 4 years running will get a 40% raise! When I was working, I was lucky to get a 3% raise despite glowing work reports. I had the unfortunate experience of working for one of those proverbial bosses from hell for 18 months a few years back. The (expletive deleted) actually dropped my salary by 15% one year, despite cleaning up his payables that were in shambles when I started there.
Theo pretty much has his hands tied with the Pap situation. Every GM out there knows Pap's splitter is ineffective and has been having problems locating his fastball at times. They all know his numbers are heading south. Someone out there might be interested in him, but the Sox will not be able to get a fair trade with him right now. Bard is very close to being the closer of the future, but unless Theo can do a complete overhaul of the bullpen, Bard and Pap will be the set-up and closer for 2011. Then let him take his cocksure peacock swaggering to Atlanta or Houston, where he will be able to suck all the swampwater he wants. There will still be a problem to be addressed come next 31st of July. If he rebounds, do the Sox keep him or trade him? If he's still on a swampwater diet, who will offer enough in exchange for him?