Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year contract with the Phillies is now official, as the team announced the deal along with one little twist: He’ll get $50,000,058.
That extra 58 bucks matches his uniform number, which he’ll apparently be taking from new bullpen-mate Antonio Bastardo.
Papelbon’s contract also includes a $13 million option for 2016 that vests if he has 55 games finished in 2015 or a total of 100 games finished between 2014 and 2015. In other words, if he stays healthy and remains a closer it would become a five-year, $63 million deal. Wow.
Philadelphia gives up its first-round pick to sign Papelbon away from Boston, but the Phillies will likely get another team’s first-rounder (and a supplemental first-rounder) when Ryan Madson signs elsewhere.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.