The Philadelphia Phillies apparently have been shopping around their closer Jonathan Papelbon, and the latest team that seems to be interested in him is the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have had trouble landing a permanent closer recently, and it would be a good move for the Phillies to give them Papelbon.
A closer’s job is to keep their team in the game and most importantly win the game with a lead of three runs or less. Papelbon has not been the definition of the closer lately.
In just a year his numbers have gotten much worse. This past season he had an ERA of 2.92 when in 2011 he had an ERA of 2.41. He gave up seven saves this season when in 2012 he only gave up four. That may only be a difference of three, but near the end of the season three games can mean something. It may have not have had any meaning to the Phillies this season, but if they are hoping to become playoff contenders again they need a trustworthy closer.
Papelbon was a great closer when he was with the Boston Red Sox. At 33 years old maybe his arm is just starting to give out. Spending eight years in the Majors Leagues can take a toll on you, and it would smart for the Phillies to trade him before he has another upsetting season.
It would also be smart to trade Papelbon because the Phillies have not made any noise yet during this offseason. They are one of the few teams that have yet to make a noteworthy move, and a trade like this would change that.
Papelbon did all that he could for the Phillies, but it just seems that is the right time for him to go. It will be interesting to see if the Phillies can make the move before Spring Training. Here’s hoping.