UPDATE: Rob Bradford of WEEI.com is reporting that the Sox and Papelbon have a deal in place for $9 million for 2010.
9:55 A.M.: Or else they’re going to arbitration. I’d bet on arbitration, as the Sox don’t seem all that interested in a long term deal, and Papelbon is reported to want to “raise the bar” for closers.
How high is that bar going to get set, in arbitration or otherwise? Hard to say. Bobby Jenks just signed for $7.5 million. Brian Fuentes is making $17.5 million over the next two years. Francisco Cordero, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge and K-Rod are on deals averaging a bit above or a bit below $12 million. Above that you’re in Mariano Rivera land ($15 million).
Of course, given Papelbon’s general obliviousness, they could probably offer him a raise to, oh, $8 million and tell him that he’s making Mariano Rivera money. He just might believe it.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.