Papelbon earned $425,000 last year and the Red Sox have the right to renew him for this season at whatever amount they choose. They will make that decision tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Papelbon has joined Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder in whining about the rules of the game. Hamels, with one year of major league experience, called his raise from $400,000 to $500,00 a "low blow" while Fielder got a raise from $415,000 to $670,000 and griped "I'm not happy about it."
What does Papelbon want? "Ryan Howard got $900,000 in his third year. There it is. It's staring [the Red Sox] right in the face." ... The Sox, meanwhile, have noted that White Sox closer Bobby Jenks just signed for $550,000. The Red Sox may go a little higher than that.
It's a tough situation for me right now ... I feel like with me being at the top of my position, I feel like that standard needs to be set, and I'm the one who set that standard. I don't think the Red Sox are necessarily seeing eye-to-eye with me on that subject right now. ... I feel a certain obligation, not only to myself and my family to make the money I deserve, but to the game of baseball. Mariano Rivera has been doing it for the past 10 years. With me coming up behind him, I feel a certain obligation to do the same. Yeah, I'm at the mercy of the club right now, to a certain extent. ... That's just the cold hard facts of it.The risk of injury is obvious. However, the two sides apparently are not discussing a multi-year deal, which would take away Papelbon's arbitration years, but give him some security if his arm goes bad. For the Red Sox, giving Bot a huge raise makes neither financial nor baseball sense. If Papelbon pitches well, he'll get his money.
Back on the diamond, Papelbon is adding a slider to his fastball and splitter.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched three innings against Pittsburgh, allowing one run, two hits and two walks. He struck out two, and threw 47 pitches, 28 for strikes. Dice has been tinkering with the release point of his changeup.
Craig Hansen rebounded from a four-run inning on Sunday with a scoreless sixth inning against the Pirates. ... Bartolo Colon will throw another bullpen session today and may throw some BP tomorrow. ... Coco Crisp has a slight groin strain and Julio Lugo has some tightness in his back.