All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon and the Boston Red Sox agreed Tuesday to a $6.25 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.
Left-hander Javier Lopez agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.35
Boston has not gone to arbitration since Theo Epstein became
Papelbon has emerged as one of baseball's top closers, saving 41
games in 46 chances last year, when he earned $800,000. He has 113
saves in 128 chances and a 1.84 ERA in 3½ seasons in Boston.
The 28-year-old Papelbon is one of four pitchers to record 30 or
more saves in each of his first three full seasons, joining Billy
Koch, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Todd Worrell. He is 29 saves from the Red
Sox mark of 132 set by Bob Stanley from 1977-89.
Papelbon's ERA is the second-lowest in major league history
since 1900 among pitchers with at least 200 innings. He also is 2-0
with seven saves in the postseason and has not allowed a run in 25
innings over 16 appearances.
Lopez, 31, pitched a career-high 59 1-3 innings over 70 games
last season, with a 2-0 record and 2.43 ERA while limiting
left-handed hitters to a .182 batting average.
Also on Tuesday, the Red Sox traded right-hander David Aardsma
to the Seattle Mariners for 20-year-old lefty Fabian Williamson.
Aardsma was 4-2 with a 5.55 ERA in a career-high 47 appearances,
all in relief, for the Red Sox in 2008. Williamson was 4-3 with a
4.10 ERA and 67 strikeouts for Class-A Pulaski.