Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Papelbon, Red Sox avoid arbitration

The Boston Red Sox today signed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and right-handed pitcher Jonathan Papelbon to one-year, non-guaranteed contracts for the 2011 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Terms were not disclosed.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.

Ellsbury, 27, was limited to 18 games last season due to three stints on the disabled list with fractured ribs. The left-handed hitter went 15-for-78 (.192) with four doubles, five RBI, 10 runs and seven stolen bases in 2010 and tied the club record with four stolen bases at Yankee Stadium on August 9. Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, he has hit .291 (399-for-1,372) with 20 home runs and 130 RBI in 349 career Major League games over parts of four seasons with the Red Sox. He led the Majors with a club single-season record 70 stolen bases in 2009 and ranks fifth on the Red Sox all-time list with 136 swipes. The outfielder has hit .261 (18-for-69) with 11 RBI and five stolen bases in 22 playoff games in his career.

The 30-year-old Papelbon finished tied for fourth in the American League with 37 saves in 2010 and also placed tied for third among AL relief leaders with 76 strikeouts while going 5-7 with a 3.90 ERA (29 ER/67.0 IP). The Red Sox all-time saves leader with 188 in his career, he is the only pitcher ever to tally 35 or more saves in each of his first five full Major League campaigns. A four-time All-Star, his 2.22 career ERA (90 ER/365.0 IP) leads all active Major Leaguers with at least 350 innings pitched. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Papelbon has a 19-18 record with 422 strikeouts and 105 walks in 333 career appearances (three starts) over six Major League seasons with the Red Sox from 2005-10.  The right-hander is 2-1 with seven saves and a 1.00 ERA (3 ER/27.0 IP) in 18 career postseason games.

With today’s agreements, Boston has no unsigned players eligible for salary arbitration in 2011.




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