Phillies Complete Deal With Papelbon

The free-agent closer completed a $50 million, four-year contract with the Phils.

Jonathan Papelbon
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The Philadelphia Phillies have completed a $50 million, four-year contract with free-agent pitcher Jonathan Papelbon.

The former Boston Red Sox closer receives the largest contract ever for a reliever. He replaces Ryan Madson, who is also a free agent.

Papelbon, who will turn 31 in late November, averaged 36 saves a year for the Boston Red Sox over the last six seasons. He leaves Boston as the greatest closer in Red Sox history, having saved 219 games over seven seasons and seven more in the postseason.

Papelbon turned down the opportunity to sign a long-term contract with the Red Sox, going year to year with the goal of striking it big in free agency.

Papelbon's contract with the Phils includes a vesting option for 2016 that could become guaranteed based on games finished and would make the deal worth $63 million over five seasons.

The Phils will officially introduce Papelbon during a news conference Monday night.

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