Paps blew his eighth save of the season in Sunday night’s loss to New York and the righty has now allowed 11 earned runs in his last seven appearances (7 1/3 innings). Now that Daniel Bard has a complete season under his belt, have Sox fans seen the last of Papelbon as the team’s closer?
The tall righty is making $9.350 million this year and is entering his final arbitration-eligible season. The team certainly has a tough offseason decision to make regarding the tail-end of its bullpen. Will they trade him and let Bard take over or will he be back for his seventh season in Boston? If he’s back, who will get the ball in the ninth inning?
According to general manager Theo Esptein, there’s a good chance “Cinco Ochco” will be back next summer.
“Having two really good pitchers is better than one,” he told the Boston Herald. “Sometimes you don’t want to overcomplicate things.”
Sunday’s slip-up didn’t earn Paps any help from fans. He now has a 4.02 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 63 appearances. Bard, meanwhile, has three saves and a 1.87 ERA in 70 appearances.