The Washington Nationals, who are on the lookout for a new closer, have had trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies regarding closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Papelbon has been connected to the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, but there is nothing currently going on with “any of them,” reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
As Rosenthal notes in a series of tweets, the Nationals are reluctant to add “significant payroll in-season,” but with the Phillies willing to eat most of Papelbon’s remaining deal, there could be a match between the two teams.
In the past, deals between two division rivals have been rare, but there have already been three this year (Mets-Braves, Astros-Athletics, Brewers-Pirates).
Papelbon, 34, has publicly demanded a trade and it’s clear that he wants out of Philadelphia so he can join a contending team. The Nationals would provide Papelbon with the chance to compete in a playoff run, which is something he hasn’t had for quite some time.
In 36 appearances this season, Papelbon has a 2-1 record to go along with 16 saves, a terrific 1.63 ERA and 39/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Even though he is the furthest thing from a fan favorite in Philadelphia, Papelbon has done quite well in his four-years there, as he has gone 14-11 with 122 saves, a 2.32 ERA and 251/52 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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