Now that Jonathan Papelbon is the Red Sox’ closer, and happily so, based on his postgame comments today, some food for thought:
- Is Craig Hansen now expendable in a trade for, say, Todd Helton?
- Is it better for a team to have a lights-out closer with four solid starters or an iffy closer with five solid starters?
- Which team is better suited for a postseason run?
- With no set fifth starter, do the Sox drop the spot and utilize their off days in April, or do they potentially give away wins in the interest of resting Matsuzaka?
- Does this move make more sense psychologically than statistically?
- If so, do the psychological benefits help the Sox more than the statistical benefits of 200 innings from Papelbon?
- How does this decision affect your mental calculations of the final AL East standings?
Talk amongst yourselves.