So is there actually a team willing to trade with the Philadelphia Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon? The Washington Nationals have been in discussions with them for the disgruntled closer, in what might turn out to be another inner NL East deal.
The Nationals have a very good closer in Drew Storen, so bringing in Papelbon means putting him in the setup role, something he said he’s not too happy with.
But he’s also unhappy with playing in Philadelphia, the worst team in Major League Baseball, and a move to the Nationals, the division leaders in the NL East, will probably answer some of his needs.
Papelbon is owed $13 million for the 2016 season, reaching the milestones required from the vesting options. The Phillies are eager to get rid of someone who has been talking nonstop about walking away despite his impressive ability this season (1.59 ERA, 17 saves, non blown) and making his sixth All-Star game.
The Phillies are willing to even pay most of what’s left on his contract. The Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers have also been mentioned as destinations, but those links have cooled off in recent weeks. Trading Papelbon to a division rival might be the only way for the Phillies to get something out of this deal.