The Phillies have signed Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon to a 4-year, $50 million dollar deal with an option for 2016 that could swell the value of the contract to $60 million. At $50 million the contract is the richest ever for a reliever, surpassing B. J. Ryan’s $47 million deal with Toronto. With an average yearly salary of $12.5 million per year Papelbon will still trail Mariano Rivera annual salary of $15 million but Rivera’s contract is shorter term.
The addition of Papelbon shows the Phillies are serious about garnering another World Series crown. After winning in 2008, they lost to the Yankees in 2009 Series and were eliminated in the NLCS in 2010 and the Division Series this year. The club was reportedly turned down by former closer Ryan Madson who was offered a 4 year $44 million offer, and moved decisively to lock up the back end of their bullpen.