According to Jim Salisbury of CSN, the Phillies have agreed to a 4 year, close to 50 million dollar contract with the former Red Sox closer.
Papelbon brings with him 6 years of closing experience and has saved at least 31 games every year since 2006. While Papelbon has had his moments of shakiness, he strikes out well over a batter every inning and doesn't give up too many free passes. While the money and the years are a little bit on the high side, if Papelbon shuts the door in the 9th inning, there is nothing to complain about.
We may never know exactly what happened with the deal the Phillies supposedly had with Ryan Madson but Papelbon is certainly much more than a Plan B option. While I would have loved to see Madson come back and continue to close games for the Phils, as soon as it was clear that he was going to look for better offers elsewhere, Ruben Amaro hurried to make sure his team wouldn't be left without an elite closer.
We knew the Phillies would pay big bucks for a top closer so the question now is what they do next. Do they have enough money to even flirt with the idea of bringing Jimmy Rollins back? What will they do about left field? Can they afford any other bullpen pieces? With the 9th inning locked up, it's time for Amaro to plug the rest of the holes.