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Closer's record deal avoids arbitration

Updated: January 20, 2009, 10:50 PM ET
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

The Boston Red Sox signed closer Jonathan Papelbon to a one-year contract worth $6.25 million Tuesday, the largest deal in history for a closer who was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

The two sides also discussed multiple-year deals but were unable to strike an agreement. Papelbon will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season.

Papelbon's contract surpasses the $5.65 million deal signed by White Sox closer Bobby Jenks the day before as the largest ever ...

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