By Joe F
The first big splash of the 2011 free agency period is made earlier this afternoon. Papelbon and the Phillies have agreed to a 4 year $50 million dollar deal. Seems like Philadelphia sports doesn’t want to stop having free agent frenzy off-seasons. It all started with the Cliff Lee signing last season, progressed with the Eagles, and now back to the Phillies.
Philadelphia was close in talks with Ryan Madson, but it seems that that deal has blown up now that Papelbon is a Phillie. Paps is a good closer who had a rough September. But what Red Sox didn’t? He’s going into his 30′s now and a 4 year deal for him isn’t that bad. Fenway and Citizen Bank Park are both hitters parks and now he gets to pitch to weaker hitting. So he may have himself a couple of nice years.
Maybe this is what the Phillies need. In 2008 when they won the World Series Brad Lidge saved every chance he had. Maybe asking for that is too much, but having a great year isn’t out of the question. Papelbon might be the Phillies missing piece to their World Series puzzle. Like I say bullpens will playoff series. Look at the Cardinals and Rangers. They had the two best bullpens down the stretch. So Philly is trying to increase their chances while their championship window is still open.