Papelbon has had his Phil of Bosox
By QMI Agency
|Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (R) after they beat the New York Yankees for a three game sweep in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York May 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
The Philadelphia Phillies have made a prized free-agent acquisition, reaching a four-year, $50-million deal with closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to multiple reports.
The deal is pending a physical.
Papelbon, who will turn 31 Nov. 23, has been Boston's closer for the past six seasons. He helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2007 and was selected an all-star four times (2006-09).
The right-hander had a 2.94 earned-run average in 63 appearances last season, and converted 31 of 34 save chances.
Drafted in the fourth round in 2003. Papelbon has a 2.33 ERA in 396 career games, and has 219 saves in 248 opportunities. He has struck out 509 and walked 115 in 429 1/3 innings.
The Phillies had been close to a four-year, $44-million deal with Ryan Madson, their closer last season, but it fell apart this week.
Madson had a 2.37 ERA in 62 games, with 32 saves in 34 chances.
The guaranteed $50 million is a record for the highest total paid a relief pitcher, topping the five-year $47-million contract closer B.J. Ryan got from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2005.
Daniel Bard is likely to become Boston's closer.
HILL MUST DECIDE
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a four-year deal on the table for second baseman Aaron Hill and they want an answer from him by Monday, FoxSportsArizona.com reported Friday.
Hill rediscovered his hitting stroke with the Diamondbacks after being traded Aug. 23 by the Blue Jays.
Hill hit .315 in 33 games for Arizona.
The Diamondbacks already have signed middle infielders Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald.
RAMOS REMAINS MISSING
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was still missing Friday, two days after being kidnapped in Venezuela.
However, Deputy Justice Minister Edwin Rojas told the state television that investigators were making progress and have descriptions of the kidnappers.
"We have faith in a quick resolution of this case," Rojas said.
Ramos was abducted by four armed men Wednesday evening in Valencia. There have no public reports of a ransom demand.
CUBS MANAGING WELL
Sandy Alomar Jr. on Friday became the fourth candidate to be interviewed by the Chicago Cubs for their managerial vacancy.
The others were Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum and Mike Maddux.
"We feel really good about the four guys we brought in. We had four very good interviewees," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told the Chicago Tribune.
"I wouldn't rule out an additional candidate, but it's not a certainty either."
Terry Francona could be that "additional candidate," although Hoyer wouldn't confirm it.
A source told the Tribune that "deep down" Francona truly wants to manage the Cubs.
Free agent Albert Pujols visited with Marlins brass Friday in Miami and toured the team's new retractable-roof stadium. The franchise also officially changed its name to the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins ... The Minnesota Twins have signed shortstop Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal reported to be worth more than $6 million. Carroll, 37, hit .290 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 ... Texas Rangers all-star outfielder Josh Hamilton had surgery Friday for a sports hernia and is expected to be recovered in time for spring training in February. Hamilton hit .298 with 25 homers and 94 RBI in 2011 despite missing part of the season with a broken bone in his right arm ... A restraining order has been lifted that had blocked retired baseball star Manny Ramirez from contacting his wife. Ramirez was arrested in September following an alleged altercation with his wife, Juliana, at their Florida home. Ramirez is now allowed to contact his wife but he is still banned from living with her, according to TMZ.com.