With so much uncertainty surrounding the 2012 Red Sox, the club should lock down one of its sure things — Jonathan Papelbon. The closer is the best available one in a crowded free agent market, but that's almost beside the point. What's much more important is that he has proven he can do it in Boston, where every blown save necessitates the convening of a congressional panel and where the lineups in the brutal AL East are built to erode even the best pitchers. While it's easy to look at this deep free agent class and say the Sox should save some money on a Tier B option like Ryan Madson or Joe Nathan, such an approach would be penny-wise, but pound-foolish.
Smart money's on Papelbon
Boston Herald | Nov 6