General manager Theo Epstein has made it very clear that Jonathan Papelbon remains the Red Sox’s closer, but it’s worth noting that Bobby Jenks’ new two-year, $12 million deal with Boston includes $1 million in incentives each season based on games finished.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Jenks can earn $200,000 for each of 30, 40, 50, 55, and 60 games finished in both 2011 and 2012.
Last season Papelbon finished 53 games while no one else on the team had more than 17, so clearly Jenks would have to take over closer duties pretty early in the season for the incentives to begin piling up in 2011.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.