Koji Uehara is on his way 40 and is battling with a hamstring injury that has nagged him for the majority of this spring. He hasn’t pitched well and now John Farrell has said he may not be ready for April 6 in Philadelphia (Opening Day).
Uh oh is right.
So, who’s going to close? Edward Mujica? Junichi Tazawa? What about some outside help? The best option isn’t in town.
Despite being on a bad team, Pap still has it. In 2014, he had 2.04 ERA with 39 saves in 43 appearances over 66 1/3 innings. Last year Koji had 26 saves in 64 1/3 innings. Do the math. Papelbon and the Phillies have wanted a divorce for some time now. He is owed $13 million this season and has a vesting option worth the same for 2016. That’s not a bad contract for what he’ll bring.
Also, imagine when Koji is healthy (BIG IF). You now have Tazawa, Papelbon then Koji going the final three innings (Yes you could flip Koji and Papelbon). Either way, it makes sense.
Oh, and he’s on that team that has Cole Hamels…package deal anyone?
If you want more ammunition to say yes to this deal, then listen to Red Sox Beat above.