UPDATE: Papelbon and the Sox probably have a deal

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UPDATERob 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.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.