When Jonathan Papelbon first became the Red Sox closer he seemed untouchable. Every time Pap came into the game Sox fans would breathe a sigh of relief, believing that Boston had clinched the victory. That feeling wasn’t there in 2011. It could be that hitters were finally figuring him out, or that he had lost his swagger a little bit, but something just wasn’t the same. When the season was on the line Papelbon couldn’t get it done – he blew the save and gave up two runs in the 9th against Baltimore on September 28 to cement the Red Sox epic collapse.
Maybe that’s why Pap now plays for Philadelphia.
Enter Andrew Bailey, the up and coming closer acquired from Oakland. Bailey has the raw skills to develop into a star and reports from Spring Training indicate that he is adjusting well to life with the Red Sox. Papelbon was once a frighteningly dominant closer for the Sox and no one can take that away from him. But is it better to have a younger guy on the rise than pay huge money for an older player who everyone in the AL East has seen over and over again? The Red Sox brass certainly seems to think so.