We shouldn't expect that to change this season. And given each team's status as a World Series contender, Bailey and Papelbon should each have plenty of opportunities to rack up saves in 2012.
Papelbon, who saved 31 games for the Red Sox in 2011, has taken his talents to Philadelphia, where Ryan Madson closed out games last season. Papelbon has played on the big stage in Boston, so he knows a thing or two about dealing with pressure. That should serve him well as he goes to another big market filled with passionate sports fans who demand success from their team.
A four-time All-Star, Papelbon saved a career-high 41 games in 2008, and has eclipsed the 30-save mark in each of his six seasons as a closer. Judging by the big contract Philadelphia doled out to the 31-year-old this offseason, the Phillies are expecting more of the same in the coming years.
Bailey, meanwhile, isn't quite as decorated as Papelbon, but he's seized his opportunities out in Oakland. He arrives in Boston on the heels of a 24-save season. He missed some time last season due to an injury, but now that he's healthy and playing for a team that will contend in the American League East, Bailey should easily surpass his career-high of 26 saves (2009) if all goes well.
A two-time All-Star and the 2009 Rookie of the Year, Bailey posted ERAs of 1.84 and 1.47 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. His career mark sits at 2.07, while Papelbon's sits at 2.33. Bailey's WHIP (0.954) is also lower than Papelbon's (1.018), showing that he could be primed to break out even more in Beantown.
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