Well, it turns out the Phillies 4year, $44MM extension with Ryan Madson was either fake, or fell through, or something else, and that the Phillies actually went ahead and agreed to terms with Jonathan Papelbon on a 4 year, $50MM deal with a vesting option for a 5th year, at $10MM. Here's the fangraphs take on it. Naturally, I'm glad to see Papelbon leave the AL East, since he's pretty good, but also because he takes like 70 years to throw the ball, and has an ugly pig face that I could literally go my entire life without seeing again.
The Phillies, as the Yankees of the NL, continue to just go ahead and throw money at all of their problems... except their problems lie in their almost average offense, not their pitching staff. I think we've all waxed poetic about how inefficient multi-year contracts when we're dealing with relievers, so I won't do that. I can't help but think of the Phillies fuckup with Brad Lidge and the 3/36 they gave him a few years back. So now, they go one more year and more money...
What I will say is that Papelbon, being pretty good, only has to provide about 8WAR over the course of the contract for the Phillies to break even, even less if those 8 WAR will put the Phillies over the top in providing a playoff berth/championship. Paps has never been on the DL, and has been an elite pitcher in the toughest division in baseball. He's now moving to an easier division, in an easier league, and will be pitching against easier competition (naturally). If there is a reliever out there that you can guarantee 4 years to, it's probably Papelbon. But 8 WAR from a reliever isn't exactly easy to get unless you're Mariano Rivera, and you can look at any number of teams who have found 8 WAR in 5 years from a reliever at a fraction of the cost.
He's also 31 years old, which probably means that he's peaked, and is set to decline. He's also a max effort, 100-MPH throwing douche, which means that even though he's never been on the DL, he's a prime candidate for the attrition that factors in to most relief pitchers.
This will drive the market up for guys like Heath Bell and Ryan Madson, which doesn't sound great for the Blue Jays (if they actually are interested), or anybody else really, and between the three of those guys, I'm sure at least one of them is going to be an albatross contract a few years from now.
The GM meetings are starting tomorrow, so I'd expect a trade or two this week, but probably not from Alex Anthopoulos, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. That doesn't mean trades won't happen, it just means that they probably won't happen yet. He prefers being in his office with all of the player information in front of him.
Yu Darvish might not be posted this winter after all, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
Flipflopfly has an opinion about the new Marlins' uniforms.
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MLBTR tells us that the Phils weren't willing to give a 4th year to Madson, and that the Red Sox weren't willing to give a 4th year to Jonathan Papelbon, but the Phillies were willing to give a 4th year to Papelbon and now I'm guessing the Red Sox will probably sign Madson for 4 years.