It's been a few hours. Is everyone feeling a little bit better?
I hope so. Go have a good breakfast, drink your OJ and snuggle up next to the computer. Let's get linkalicious, baby!
Trading an elite relief pitcher who just saved 38 games with a 1.85 ERA during the regular season would seem to be the type of reaction easily dismissed as a knee-jerk notion made in the heat of of a disappointing loss.
But the truth is that the idea has been quietly discussed by the members of Red Sox Nation for some time now. Papelbon still has two years of arbitration remaining before free agency and he was just awarded $6.25 million in 2009, a record for a pitcher. The thinking in New England circles is that GM Theo Epstein could command a decent trade package for Papelbon in the offseason and Billy Wagner could fill the 2010 closer's job at a cheaper rate.
Quick trigger finger is right. I don't think there's any chance that Papelbon is traded this offseason. If he's traded, it's probably in his last year of arbitration. I still don't think this talk should come up just because he blew game three. The guy had a really good season and he blew this game. No real reason to cut him loose now.
How long does something like this linger?
"It kind of always lingers. You find your mind going back to postseasons past and the last game. I still think about ’03. I still think about 2005 and last year. And now I’ll think about this. You don’t find yourself too often thinking about a Tuesday game against Seattle in April. Just as the times you win series, those stay in your memory bank, so do these. It’s part of life. It’s part of reality."
Theo shoots from the hip. His thoughts are the same as ours -- the Angels just played better. This was a good Red Sox team, but the Angels were better.
Papelbon said that he would leave behind the sting of defeat as soon as he left the clubhouse. He set to the task of packing his belongings for the winter after the game. Even so, the Sox closer admitted that he might make a point of replaying this game to drive himself in his preparations for the 2010 season.
"I don’t take anything home with me or take anything into the offseason with me," Papelbon said initially. "Although when you do go into the offseason after the season is over and it ends like it did today, definitely, definitely you remember those situations when you’re in the weight room in the offseason and when you’re getting ready to prepare. Who knows? I may be replaying this on the TV in my weight room in the offseason and give me a little motivation for next season."
I think this is just going to piss Papelbon off and he's going to come out like a banshee next season. A really pissed off, drunk, Louisiana-accented banshee.
The team has a few impending free agents, most notably outfielders Jason Bay and Rocco Baldelli. Billy Wagner will also hit the open market since the Sox have agreed not to exercise his $8MM option. Josh Beckett's $12.1MM option for 2010 has already vested, and you would think Victor Martinez's $7.7MM option is a no-brainer pickup. The team still has decide what to do with the options they hold for Jason Varitek, Alex Gonzalez, and Takashi Saito, though Varitek also has a player option that could keep him in, well, red socks next year regardless of what the club decides to do.
My straight-to-the-point predictions: Bay, Baldelli, V-Mart, Varitek and Gonzo will be back. Wagner and Saito will be gone. I might as well throw that out there. We'll have more analysis down the road on each player here on OTM.
"I’ve pretty much loved every minute of [playing in Boston]," [Jason Bay] continued. "I’ve been here for roughly a year and a half. The quickest year and a half I’ve ever had in the big leagues. That’s a good thing. … It’s been everything – the fans, the whole experience has been very, very positive. There isn’t really a lot of negatives that I can draw from being here, which makes it, once again, tough not knowing my situation and if I’ll have a chance to be back or not."
Speaking of bringing Bay back, this is how he feels. He loves Boston and seriously, don't we love him? OK, so not everyone loves him, but I'll say it: I have platonic love for Jason Bay. And I don't care if you all know it.
Y'all ready to talk prospects this offseason?! I hope so!