The Red Sox have announced that closer Jonathan Papelbon and lefthanded reliever Javier Lopez have agreed to a one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration.
The club did not divulge the financial terms of either deal, but the Globe’s Amalie Benjamin has confirmed that Papelbon, a three-time All-Star, will be paid $6.25 million in 2009, while Lopez will receive $1.35 million.
Papelbon’s deal is a record for a first-year arbitration-eligible relief pitcher. The agreements also extend Theo Epstein’s streak of never having gone to arbitration with any player during his six-plus years as Boston’s general manager.
Papelbon, 28, had a 2.34 ERA and 41 saves last year, when he was paid $775,000. He set career highs with 67 appearances and 69.1 innings, and his save total was a career-best and the third-most in the American League.
And did we mention that pitchers and catchers report in just 22 days? Because they do.
My heart cries for baseball, people. It cries.