Hot off the Front Office email…We just agreed to terms with Papelbon and Javier Lopez.
RED SOX AGREE TO TERMS WITH RIGHTHANDED PITCHER JONATHAN PAPELBON
AND LEFTHANDED PITCHER JAVIER LOPEZ
BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with rigthhanded pitcher Jonathan Papelbon and lefthanded pitcher Javier Lopez on one-year, non-guaranteed contracts through the 2009 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration with both players. Terms were not disclosed.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Papelbon went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 2008 and set career highs 67 appearances, 69.1 innings and 41 saves, the third-most in the American League. He also ranked among A.L. relief leaders in games finished (2nd, 62), fewest walks per 9.0 innings (2nd, 1.04), save percentage (4th, 89.1), opponents on-base percentage (5th, .245), and strikeouts (T6th, 77).
The 28-year-old is one of four pitchers ever to record 30 or more saves in at least each of his first three full big league seasons, joining Billy Koch (4), Kazuhiro Sasaki (3) and Todd Worrell (3). He trails Bob Stanley (132) for second in Red Sox history with 113 career saves, the third-highest total in the majors from 2006-08.
Papelbon is 13-10 in 202 games/three starts over 230.0 career innings. His 1.84 ERA is the second-lowest in major league history since 1900 among pitchers with at least 200.0 innings behind Ed Walsh (1.82). Boston’s fourth round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft is 2-0 with seven saves in 16 career playoff games and has thrown a post-season record 25.0 innings without allowing a run.
In 2008, Lopez tossed a career-high 59.1 innings on his way to a 2-0 record and finished fourth in the A.L. among qualifying lefthanded relievers with a 2.43 ERA and tied for fourth with 70 appearances. The 31-year-old limited lefthanded hitters to a .182 batting average, fifth in the A.L. He recorded a 1.98 ERA in his last 58 outings beginning April 25 and closed out the year with a season-high 12.0 consecutive scoreless frames over his final 15 games.
Lopez has spent each of the last three seasons in the Red Sox organization after joining the club through a trade with the Chicago White Sox on June 15, 2006. His 2.70 career ERA as a reliever with Boston ranks third in club history among pitchers with at least 150 appearances out of the bullpen, trailing only Papelbon (1.81) and Dick Radatz (2.66). The six-year major league veteran is 11-5 with 4 saves and a 4.38 ERA in 329 games with Colorado (2003-05), Arizona (2005) and Boston (2006-08).