Jonathan Papelbon wants to close so he can get Mariano Rivera’s saves record

59 Comments

No, it has nothing to do with his $13 million vesting option based on games finished that has Jonathan Papelbon wanting to remain a closer. It’s *bad guy from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” voice* History:

Let’s see: Papelbon is 34 and has 342 saves in 11 seasons. Mariano Rivera finished with 652. Let’s be generous and say Papelbon finishes the year with 35 saves. Unlikely, but give the kid a break. That would mean he’d need around 30 saves a year for the next decade to break Rivera’s record.

Is it possible Papelbon lasts until his mid-40s and remains a top closer for 22 seasons or so? I suppose anything is possible. But it’s highly unlikely, even if Papelbon is one of the more underrated closers from a historical perspective.