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Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon struck out 77 while
walking just eight in 2008.
AP

Electric closer Jonathan Papelbon has agreed to a $6.25 million, one-year contract with the Red Sox, SI.com has learned. The sum is a record for a first-year, arbitration-eligible reliever.

The 28-year-old fireballer went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA and 41 saves last year, when he was paid $775,000. Boston's closer has racked up 113 saves with a 1.84 ERA in his first three seasons on the job, making three straight All-Star teams in the process.

The 28-year-old Papelbon is one of four pitchers to record 30 or more saves in each of his first three full seasons, joining Billy Koch, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Todd Worrell. He is 29 saves from the Red Sox mark of 132 set by Bob Stanley from 1977-89.

The Red Sox have locked up some key pieces over the last two months. Boston gave MVP second baseman Dustin Pedroia a six-year, $40.5 million contract in December and star slugger Kevin Youkilis a four-year, $41 million deal last week.

In other news, Mariners star starter Erik Bedard settled for a $7.75 million contract.

Several other arbitration-eligible players agreed on contracts today with their current clubs, just before arbitration figures were to be exchanged.

According to filings obtained by SI.com, other players to settle included Toronto's Jeremy Accardo ($900,000), Florida's Alfredo Amezaga ($1.3 million), Houston's Brandon Backe ($1.55 million), Colorado's Clint Barmes $1.625 million), Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett ($1,981,250), San Diego's Heath Bell $1.255 million), Los Angeles Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton ($1.825 million), New York Mets' Ryan Church ($2.8 million), Pittsburgh's Zach Duke ($2.2 million), Texas' Frank Francisco ($1.615 million), Pittsburgh's John Grabow ($2.3 million), Colorado's Jason Grilli ($800,000), Detroit's Edwin Jackson ($2.2 million), Detroit's Gerald Laird ($2.8 million) and Colorado's Taylor Buchholz ($1.55 million).

Others to agree to contracts included Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche ($7.05 million), Boston's Javier Lopez ($1.35 million), Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin ($3.9 million), Milwaukee's Seth McClung ($1.6625 million), New York Yankees' Xavier Nady ($6.55 million), Kansas City's Joel Peralta ($640,000), Arizona's Chad Qualls $2.535 million), Los Angeles Angels' Robb Quinlan ($1.1 million), Florida's Ricky Nolasco ($2.4 million), Baltimore's Luke Scott ($2.4 million), Detroit's Bobby Seay ($1.3 million), San Francisco's Jack Taschner $835,000), St. Louis' Brad Thompson $650,000), Philadelphia's Shane Victorino ($3.125 million), Texas' C.J. Wilson ($1.85 million), Pittsburgh's Tyler Yates $1.3 million), Detroit's Joel Zumaya ($735,000).

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