Many thought that with the Boston Red Sox so willing to let closer Jonathan Papelbon walk to Philadelphia, they were sold on having his replacement waiting in-house. But, according to a report, the Sox aren’t necessarily sold on Daniel Bard as the guy to step in as the ninth-inning guy.
According to Dan Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Red Sox are very much in the mix for former Phillies closer Ryan Madson and San Diego’s Heath Bell.
“Red Sox will be in on both Madson and Heath Bell, source says. Not committed to Daniel Bard as closer yet,” Knobler tweets.
Bell seems to like where he is and why wouldn’t he? He’s said he’d be willing to take a home-town discount to stay in San Diego and…again…why not? He’d be pitching for a team that very few care about in one of the most beautiful cities in all of America. He’ll still get paid extremely well, and he’ll have no real pressure and great beaches. Win, win, win.
Madson seems more likely for the Sox, but buyer beware. Madson is probably going to get $40+ million over four years, but has only shown for one year that he can actually close. He’s been a brilliant setup man for several years, but in the past, he took huge dumps on the mound when asked to close when Brad Lidge was injured. It’s a lot of money to commit to a player who’s only good year as a closer came in a contract year. Not saying he can’t continue to do it, but…buyer beware.
As for Bard, he probably has better stuff than Madson and Bell, but is young and struggled down the stretch (okay, who didn’t struggle for the Red Sox down the stretch?). Red Sox aren’t ready to turn to a young kid with a team with championship aspirations.