Evaluating Each Big Name Trade Candidate

Jonathan Papelbon

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Jonathon Papelbon, closer, Philadelphia Phillies, 34 years old

2015 stats: 1-1 record, 14 saves, 1.82 ERA

What use does a team like the Phillies have for an elite closer? They don’t. Which is why it’s so surprising that the Phillies have held on to Papelbon so long. It hasn’t been for lack of trying, as the Phillies have attempted to move the veteran multiple times over the past few seasons. What throws teams off the most seems to be the enormous amount of money still owed to the 34-year-old. Papelbon is owed $13 million this year, with another $13 million vesting option for 2016. In order for the Phillies to move Papelbon they will have to eat most of the money left on his contract.

Potential suitors: Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Blue Jays have reportedly been looking for a closer all year. With the likes of Brett Cecil continuing to blow saves when called upon, the Jays would surely like to have a proven, elite closer. The Cubs are also in the running for a closer, as Hector Rendon has lost his job and manager Joe Maddon is now using a closer-by-committee approach. The Dodgers are always interested in big names no matter the price and having a 1-2 punch of Papelbon and Kenley Jansen would be deadly. The odd name here is the Red Sox. As previously mentioned bad teams don’t have uses for an elite closer. However, Papelbon did spend the first 7 years of his career in Boston, winning a World Series ring and becoming an All-Star four times, so a trade to Boston could be done simply for the sentimental value. 

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