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SoxProspects News

January 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Sox avoid arbitration with Papelbon and Lopez

According to Boston.com, the Red Sox have signed closer Jonathan Papelbon to a one-year contract worth $6.25-million, avoiding arbitration with the All Star righthander. The deal will set a salary record for a reliever in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The 28-year-old Papelbon has saved more than 35 games in each of the last three seasons. In 2008, he piled up 41 saves in 46 opportunities, making 67 total appearances and posting a 2.34 ERA to go along with 77 strikeouts and only 8 walks allowed in 69.1 innings. He also held opposing hitters to an impressive .223/.245/.315 line. In his major league career, Papelbon owns a 13-10 record with 113 saves in 128 opportunities, with a 1.84 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 230 innings.

The Red Sox also avoided arbitration with lefthanded relief pitcher Javier Lopez, signing him to a one-year contract worth $1.35-million. Lopez, the primary weapon out of the Boston pen against left-handed hitters last season, posted an impressive 2.43 ERA in 2008, holding opposing hitters to a .245/.333/.366 line in 59.1 innings across 70 appearances. The 31-year-old native of Puerto Rico owns a career record of 11-5, notching 62 holds and 4 saves in 329 appearances with Colorado, Arizona, and Boston, all while posting a 4.38 ERA. Both pitchers figure to be fixtures in the Boston bullpen in 2009.