Papelbon Would Welcome A Trade

Jonathan PapelbonJonathan Papelbon needed just nine pitches to pick up his third save in three days Wednesday at Miller Park.

He is pitching like one of the best closers in baseball, but his efforts have been mostly wasted on a last-place team on pace to lose 91 games. It is why Papelbon made no bones following the Phillies’ 4-1 victory over the Brewers that he would welcome a trade to a contending team before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Does he want to be wanted by a contending team?

“Of course, man,” he said. “What kind of question is that?”

Well, some players say they don’t want to be moved this time of year.

“What?” he said. “Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That’s mind-boggling to me.”

So if a contender called he would be willing to go?

“Yeah,” he said, chuckling, almost in disbelief at the suggestion somebody would not go. “I think that’s a no-brainer.”

But Papelbon said he doesn’t have a gut feeling whether or not he will traded before the deadline, although the Phillies have been motivated to move him. They tried to trade him before last year’s Trade Deadline and again this offseason.

“I don’t have that crystal eight-ball,” he said.

Papelbon is 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA and 22 saves in 24 opportunities in 37 appearances this season. His 0.88 WHIP entering Wednesday ranked 20th out of 202 qualifying relief pitchers in baseball. He is owed about $19.5 million on his four-year, $50 million contract: $6.5 million this season and $13 million next season. He also has a $13 million option in 2016 that automatically vests if he finishes 55 games in 2015 or 100 games in 2014-15 and is not on the disabled list at the end of 2015 with an elbow or shoulder injury.

His contract could be a stumbling block for teams – although the Phillies have said in recent weeks they would be willing to take on money in the right deal – but his limited no-trade clause will not be a problem if the Phillies can find a trade partner.

Papelbon shook his head no when asked if his no-trade clause could be a hurdle for the Phillies.

He shook his head no again when asked if he had expressed that to anybody in the Phillies’ front office.

The Tigers are a winning team in need of bullpen help. Papelbon shook his head yes when asked if he would go to Detroit.

“Yes and no,” he said, when asked if he hopes a contending team acquires him. “You know, I came here for a reason … and I say that because I’m with a group of guys in the bullpen that can do very special things in the future. I’ve been waiting for that, you know what I mean? It’s fun to be a part of that, it really is. We are there finally with our bullpen. So that aspect of it would kind of suck to leave. But at the same time, winning is the cure-alls of cure-alls.”

3 Comments

Pap has pitched ok while here in Philly, he seems like he wants to be on a front runner and the Phillies need to dump salary, so bye-bye to a player who can take his Ocho Cinco like persona, and at times very weird stares even in postgame interviews to another team, Still thinking Pap isn’t wrapped too tight.

Now that he has finally gotten his —- back together, I would only trade him if they got what they need for the future. They desperately need to address their woeful outfield. Pretty sad that the only one out there that seems to know what he’s doing is 36 year old and on the backside of his career. TG they picked him up though, can you just imagine how awful it would be without him?!

Pap will bring some serious interest with how he is pitching. Someone like him could make or break a contender. But the longer this team plays this year, the more evident it seems that they need some very specific things, not just “new guys” or “more prospects” that may never work out. They need a big, reliable bat. That may be the only thing that saves Ryan Howard. If they can put someone behind him who hits for power and average, and they can get him to stop swinging at balls, then maybe – maybe! – his career can be resurrected. They need a legit hitter: someone who consistently bats in the upper 200s or even 300. Someone you don’t want to face with a 1-run lead and game on the line. Positionally, you would hope at least one of these is an outfielder. And they need one more good starting pitcher. If they can’t get one of these for Pap, they should not trade him just to dump salary, and they sure as heck should not eat some of his salary. If they can’t do something with Howard, next year they need to dump HIM and eat whatever part of his salary they need to to make it happen.

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