> Finally- the first deal involving a top-tier free agent in the 2011 offseason.
> Closer Jonathan Papelbon signed a four-year deal, $50 million deal with the Phillies today. Papelbon has established himself as one of the best closers baseball has seen over the past six years- all with the Red Sox. During his time in Boston, he posted a 2.33 ERA with 219 saves.
I guess I didn’t see this coming. I knew the Phillies were somewhat interested in him, but they appeared dedicated to Ryan Madson- their closer during the 2011 season. Apparently, though, reports of the Phillies agreeing with Madson on a four-year deal were inaccurate, as talks with Madson’s agent- the feared Scott Boras- never really advanced after that.
But, in my opinion, this isn’t the best move for the Phillies. It’s dangerous to sign closers to deals for more than two years, because they can just lose it overnight. Trevor Hoffman, Jonathan Broxton, and Ryan Franklin are prime examples of closers who just fell apart over the past few years. Hoffman couldn’t miss bats (but rebounded to notch his 600th save), Broxton struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, and Franklin just forgot how to finish games at the beginning of this year. I don’t think any of this will happen to Papelbon, but you never know.
> The Marlins are making their long-awaited name change tonight, as they’ll go from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. The Marlins expect to be a completely revamped team next year, and the name change is only the start (or so they think). They’re moving into a new stadium, and expect to sign a few top free agents.
But I doubt the free agent part is going to happen. Albert Pujols is in Miami this weekend to meet with the Marlins, but let’s be realistic- is he really going to sign there? Can you imagine Pujols in a Marlins uniform? I can’t. (Literally, I can’t- I don’t know what their new uniforms look like yet.)
Anyway, my point is I don’t think the Marlins are going to take this seriously. They’re going to pretend to be in the bidding for these free agents and end up not being able to sign them. Then, next year when they’ll probably choke, they’ll see “but we did what we could in the offseason.”
Bottom line is, they’re still the Marlins- no matter how much they try to change themselves.
> The Twins made the first step at fixing their severely banged up infield today, signing Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal worth $7 million. The deal has yet to be officially announced, but it’s just pending a physical, which usually means it’s a done deal.
Carroll is coming off a 2011 season in which he hit .290 with the Dodgers, but was injured a few times. The Brewers appeared interested in Carroll at the Trade Deadline, but the Dodgers wouldn’t trade him.
> It was reported today that Wilson Ramos, the catcher for the Nationals, was found safe and sound 50 hours after being kidnapped in Venezuela. This was a scary situation, and it’s great that Ramos came out unharmed.
> The Brewers made one minor move that I didn’t notice yesterday, re-singing Erick Almonte to a Minor League deal. Almonte hit .303 in Triple-A Nashville last year, but just .103 in 16 Major League games with the Brewers last yaer.
> Anyway, that’s the only news from today. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.