Jonathan Papelbon ties Jose Mesa as Phillies’ all-time leader in saves


Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon put the finishing touches on a 3-1 win over the Mets on Friday, earning his 112th save as a member of the Phillies. Following a Daniel Murphy leadoff single to right field, Papelbon struck out Lucas Duda and Kevin Plawecki before getting Dilson Herrera to fly out to end the game. He moves into a tie with Jose Mesa as the club’s all-time leader in saves. Papelbon is also the leader in saves for the Red Sox at 219. He is only the second closer to lead two different clubs in saves, along with Robb Nen (Giants and Marlins).

The Phillies controversially signed Papelbon — now 34 years old — to a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011, as it was and still is a record for a reliever. Papelbon, though, has certainly delivered his end of the bargain, entering Friday night’s contest with a combined 2.41 ERA and a 224/47 K/BB ratio in 209 1/3 innings since signing the deal.

Papelbon remains a trade candidate for the rebuilding Phillies, but his $13 million salary for the 2015 season and his $13 million option for 2016 — which is all but guaranteed to vest — limits the list of potential suitors.

Yankees, Brett Gardner reunite on one-year, $12.5 million deal

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George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner are back together on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal includes a second year option worth $20 million.

Gardner, 36, is coming off of the strongest offensive season of his career, batting .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 74 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases over 550 plate appearances. While he has certainly lost a step or two with age, he still rates as an above-average defensive corner outfielder as well.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees also value Gardner — a veteran of 12 seasons — for his leadership, especially with CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius gone.

Bringing Gardner back into the fold allows Giancarlo Stanton to remain the full-time DH. Gardner will return to left field with Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge reprising their roles in center and right, respectively.