Full Count
A Furiously Updated Red Sox Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Nathan happy to see Papelbon get paid

03.01.09 at 2:06 pm ET

A year ago, Joe Nathan questioned Jonathan Papelbon’s assertion that the Red Sox closer should start setting the standard for closers, telling our man Alex Speier in March, 2008: 

“(Papelbon) is still a little young to be worried about that,” said Twins closer Joe Nathan, who signed a four-year, $47 million extension with a team option, during last season’s spring training. “He’s coming into his third year of closing. He’s got some time before he has to worry about the young guys behind him.

“(Papelbon) IS a young guy right now. I think it’s more important for us to set the bar for him at this stage of the game.”

Now, after Papelbon inked the best deal for any first-time arbitration-eligible pitcher, for one year at $6.25 million Nathan can see that the Sox reliever is, indeed helping the closers’ cause:

“For him to make that amount of money that early in his career, it shows that hopefully the market continue to do what it has done for that position, which is increase,” said Nathan before Sunday’s Twins-Red Sox tilt at Hammond Stadium. “With the economy, it probably slowed down signings this year a little bit. But it’s still moving in the right direction. I think Papelbon is going to one of the guys who will definitely help it out. What he’s been able to do over there at an early age, and an early stage in his career, I hope he goes through his career without any adversity. If he does have some adversity, which 100 percent of guys I know do, I hope he is able to fight through those things and get to the point he has been.”

Nathan surmised that, in this economy, was the fact that Papelbon was negotiating as a player who was working within the confines of the arbitration system.

“One thing that was in his advantage was that he had an arbitration case. As a free agent, sure there are other teams that the organization has to compete with but it is still up to the market. With arbitration it’s you and the club. They knew based on his numbers where it was going. It wasn’t based on the economy or who was going to pay him. I think that was a pretty good bargaining tool, and that’s one of the reason why we have those arbitration cases, to have that bargaining power your side.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon,
Red Sox Box Score
Red Sox Schedule
Latest on Twitter
Red Sox Headlines
Red Sox Minor League News
Red Sox Team Leaders
MLB Headlines
Tips & Feedback