It’s official, Jonathan Papelbon is the newest member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today that the 30-year-old right-hander passed his physical and made it official.
For the full press release, click here.
After hearing reports that Papelbon had reached an agreement with the Phillies on Friday, most speculation revolved around a four-year deal that was reported to be worth about $50 million. The deal, in fact, is a four-year deal worth $50,000,058, which is the richest contract ever for a relief pitcher. The contract also holds an option for 2016 worth $13 million that automatically vests if he finishes 55 games in 2015 or 100 games combined in 2014-15.
Papelbon went 4-1 with 31 saves and held a 2.94 ERA in 63 appearances this past season with the Boston Red Sox. He also had a career-best 87 strikeouts in 64.1 innings (12.2 K/9) and held opponents to a .207 batting average. Papelbon has garnered attention for being one of the most dominant closers in baseball today.
“We are really pleased to bring Jonathan to Philadelphia,” Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro, Jr said. “He is among the elite closers in the game and someone who clearly has a passion to win.”
With 217 career saves, a career 2.30 ERA, and a World Series championship (2007) under his belt, Papelbon ranks among the best active closers in the MLB. During this past season, Papelbon became the first player in major league history to collect at least 30 saves in each of his first six full big league seasons and became the fastest to 200 career saves. It took Papelbon just 359 games, topping New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera’s previous record of 382 games.
In 18 career postseason appearances, Papelbon holds a 2-1 record with seven saves and a 1.00 ERA. Seventeen of those postseason appearances were scoreless, including a 26-inning scoreless streak.
You can watch Papelbon’s press conference today live at 5 p.m. ET.