Papelbon likely going no where

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2013

After an eight game losing streak the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to sell and sell hard. One guy who has been talked about a lot is closer Jonathan Papelbon, especially with teams like the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox in need of closers. One of them, the Tigers, satisfied their need with a trade for Jose Veras so that takes one team out of the market. Unfortunately for the Phillies it sounds like Papelbon isn’t on the list for teams who need a closer, no matter how hard the Phillies push him on others.

But with the Tigers and Red Sox all but sprinting in the other direction, the odds of Papelbon moving this week appear slim and none. “They’d like to move him,” said an executive of one team that spoke with the Phillies. “But I don’t think they can, unless they pay down that contract significantly.” Which they’ve shown no inclination to do, incidentally. (Jayson Stark – ESPN)

There’s three main reasons why the Phillies would need to pay that contract down and also accept something well under the value they want.

  • First of course is that Papelbon is due at $30 million through 2015 and a vesting option for 2016.
  • He’s got a declining skill set. His ERA is the highest it’s been since 2009 and he’s striking out batters at a rate much lower then his career norm. Oh and his fastball is almost three miles per hour slower then two years ago.
  • He’s become a head case and more vocal then he has at any point in his career. I would like to stay here,” he told MLB.com before saying he would not. “But if I’m going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don’t want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?”

So yea Ruben Amaro Jr has his hands full with trying to make a trade here. It’s possible that he does so I just don’t see the Phillies coming out of any potential deal he makes.

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