When it comes to players who Ruben Amaro Jr. has a chance of moving by the trade deadline, the number of Philadelphia Phillies on that list is very short. One name that keeps popping up (other than Marlon Byrd) is Jonathan Papelbon. Many MLB teams will be looking for a dependable closer as they prepare to head into the postseason.
Papelbon has already made it crystal clear that he would have no problem leaving Philadelphia if it meant he can pitch for a contending team. He has rebounded this season after a subpar 2013 with a 1.21 ERA in 38 trips to the mound with 22 saves out of 24 opportunities. And he managed to do all that while suffering from occasional bouts of “soreness”.
Those numbers and the fact that he has a proven postseason track record are probably the reason why the Los Angles Dodgers have made it known that they are going to try to land Papelbon by the trade deadline. This despite the fact that they have a pretty competent closer already in Kenley Jansen, who has 27 saves in 30 chances.
The only hangup is that apparently the Dodgers don’t want to give up any good prospects in a deal with the Phillies. They would simply take on Papelbon’s considerable salary, throw the team a player or two and that would be it.
And if that is the deal the Dodgers offer, the Phillies should help Papelbon pack his bags and call a taxi for him.
Papelbon is due to make $4.5 million this year, $13 million in 2015 and has an option for 2016 that will pay him another $13 million if he meets certain benchmarks. That’s an absurd amount of money for a closer and easily one of the worst deals Amaro Jr. ever made as Phillies GM. To be able to send that whole mess to Los Angeles along with a player who has a poor attitude and never really fit in with the Phillies organization is a blessing he shouldn’t pass up.
Regardless if the Phillies get any real prospects or not out of a deal with the Dodgers, it’s a transaction that will work out for the team in the long run. They will have freed up some money they can spend next season and the Phillies won’t have to worry about “soreness” outbreaks in the locker room anymore.