Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 11/2/11

It's not a true report or an exact quote from Papelbon's agent, but Peter Gammons' comments to WEEI's Mut and Merloni midday show indicate that Pap could be relatively affordable:

How much are they going to be willing to pay a closer? Papelbon and his agents are going to be looking for about what they say the Red Sox offered Mariano Rivera, which is three times {$15 million]. Is somebody going to go out and give it to him? There are a lot of closers on the market: Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, Ryan Madson, Heath Bell, Frankie Francisco, even Joe Nathan, although he's coming off Tommy John surgery. I don't know if that kind of money's going to be out there.

[...]

But I think it's going to be sort of a narrow bridge for the Red Sox to cross here. I don't think they can get Papelbon wrapped up quickly for less than three times [$15 million]. ... I have thus far not seen a team that I definitely think would jump in hard on Papelbon. I think a lot of teams will go after him. But whether or not they can get three or four years, that's another issue.

Three years, $45 million? That's certainly less than I thought he might start demanding. Ben, make the call and get that done right now. 

Look, I know the stat guys say that you shouldn't throw money at closers. And by and large I agree with them. But in this specific situation -- with this player on this staff in this market -- I think this is fair. The money is relatively unimportant -- whether we like it or not, the Red Sox barely have a budget when it comes to player salaries.

It's the term. Three years? I still don't believe it. I don't think he'll go for less than three years and an option, and I still wouldn't be surprised if he gets four or five guaranteed years. I certainly don't think an offer today of 3/45 would bring him back to Boston. But Peter's a Hall of Famer, and he's certainly more knowledgeable than I am.

Stay tuned. If these comments are to be believed, there might not be as much drama in bringing back Pap as you might have originally thought.

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