Is Jonathan Papelbon worth nearly twice as much as Heath Bell? That's the $50 million question now that Bell has signed a three-year deal with the Marlins worth $27 million.

The Phillies pounced on Papelbon early in the offseason, probably offering several million more than any other team was willing to part with. They got their man, but at what cost? Papelbon is certainly younger than Bell with more fluffy tangibles like playoff experience, but seeing an elite closer sign for 54 percent of what Papelbon received raises some flags.

Let's look at the tale of the tape…

From 2009-11:

Papelbon had a 2.89 ERA, Bell had a 2.36. But when you normalize for league and park factors, Papelbon's 2.89 ERA is almost identical to Bell's 2.36.

Papelbon struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings to Bell's 9.6, though Bell's K/9 shrunk from 11.1 in 2010 to 7.3 in 2011.

Papelbon walked 2.8 batters per nine to Bell's 3.2.

Papelbon's WHIP: 1.12. Bell's WHIP: 1.16.

Papelbon has the advantage in each category. Not a glaring advantage, but not a tiny advantage, either.