It seems like only a matter of time before Philadelphia Phillies‘ closer Jonathan Papelbon will be dealt. It’s something he’s asked for repeatedly and it makes sense for the Phillies to do it. The most likely destinations for the right-handed closer are the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs as reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
nats, jays, maybe even cubs possible for papelbon (but is anyone enthused? not sure) http://t.co/jM51IwzcoE
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 27, 2015
The return the Phillies will get for Papelbon will not be much. He is making $13MM for the year and also has a vesting option worth an additional $13MM should he be able to finish 48 games this season. He currently has finished 32 games so far so he should be able to get the needed 16 more finishes to vest his option. That makes his trade value low though and also limits his possible destinations because he reportedly wants to go somewhere he can continue to close games.
That makes the Nationals a tough fit because their current closer Drew Storen has been a lock down arm this year, as he has 29 saves on the year with a 1.73 ERA. He could be moved to the set-up role allowing, Papelbon to take over as closer but Storen’s performance doesn’t exactly warrant him being demoted. The Nationals have been reportedly seeking another flame-throwing reliever but given Papelbon’s preference to stay on as a closer, he may not be the best fit for them.
The Cubs and Blue Jays both make more sense. They both have weak bullpens with no established closers. They use a closer-by-committee approach, though that hasn’t been extremely effective for either of them. Toronto is seeking starting pitching upgrades as well, but need bullpen help just as badly as they need starting pitching help. The Cubs need bullpen help very badly. Papelbon will more than likely be wearing a different uniform next Friday, in my opinion.