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Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals interested in Jonathan Papelbon?

Jun 17, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Just a few days ago general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted that the Phillies have no plans to trade any significant pieces, including closer Jonathan Papelbon.

And yet today Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that “the Phillies believe there are at least three teams–Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals–that may have some interest in Papelbon at the trade deadline.”

“Believe” and “may have” in that sentence make it something less than a juicy rumor, but Cafardo adds that “it’s no secret the Phillies are scouting those teams with Papelbon in mind.”

Papelbon has been fantastic this season with a 1.46 ERA and 23/3 K/BB ratio in 25 innings,, although given that he’s under contract for $13 million in 2014 and $13 million in 2015–with a $13 million vesting option for 2016 that could easily be achieved–it’s hard to imagine teams lining up to acquire him, let alone offering any sort of significant prospects in return.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Since the Red Sox leak like sieves, there might be substance to this story.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      I’d give it more credit if he had actually worked some sources in there or could give indicators that make the suggestion seem a bit more concrete. As is, it’s basically the same hypothesis that probably half the commenters on this site have made in the last three weeks.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        How was your weekend?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        Saturday I was without water for most of the day. (Really, City, you had to do water line repairs on a Saturday???) Otherwise, I went out and then hung around and watched some baseball. Drank some beer. Ate some pizza. You know…probably like a man. πŸ˜€

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        “probably like a man.” col! Milk it…milk it…MILK IT.
        You keep it up…and you are setting yourself for a twister of your own!

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Easy there, Woodpecker. You’re gonna find yourself in timeout again. I’ll stop, ya mule.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        But I posted that out of love. Pure love. I actually enjoy the occasional reference you make to the radio…like a man…etc.. It keeps me on my toes.


      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Doing two things at once. Typing an email response to a Customer and posted on her. Stupid work. But really…I am surprised I haven’t done that previously.
        Still bothers me though.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        No one will notice. Shhh. I won’t tell.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Remember, water will always seek the lowest spot to go, so the Sox alleged ‘leaks’ are dripping all over last place in the AL East.

    • psousa1 - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      No. Now that St. Theo is gone there are no more leaks.

  2. albertmn - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I don’t know if I buy the Cardinals as being willing to take on that much money for a closer. They have always had pretty good luck promoting from within (at least for a while). Ryan Franklin had a couple good seasons before falling apart, Salas was closer most of 2011 before giving way to Motte, who was very good the end of 2011 and all of 2012. Mujica has been pretty good this year after Boggs failed, and Rosenthal is waiting in the wings. I could see if the Cards added a rental guy at the end of his contract, but can’t see them adding with potentially $39 million left after this season.

    • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Yeah, there is pretty much zero chance they’d take on that contract….and really, there is no need for them to.

      Motte will be back next year. Their system has power arms galore that can be used in the bullpen if necessary. They’d be more likely to trade for a rental than a guy that comes with 3 more years at a high price tag. The Cardinals’ philosophy regarding player value and the bullpen are pretty much the antithesis of that of the Phillies, I find it hard to believe they would be able to strike a deal because: 1) the Cardinals value prospects more than Philly, which will make it hard for Philly to feel satisfied with any return, and 2) the Cardinals don’t value closers enough to commit $45M to one for the next 3.5 yrs, meaning they would want the the Phillies to eat some contract (as they wouldn’t give Papelbon anything close to that money if he was available as a FA), and Philly wouldn’t see why they should.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Hey, where’s my OK report, slacker?

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        Kozma has been riding some pine. Yesterday, both Kozma and Holliday got the day off….well, Holliday did until he struck out looking with the bases loaded to end the game….the pitch was about 5″ outside, which had been called a strike to RHB most of the day, but it was Holliday’s first PA.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Thanks. Oh, you forgot your “!” there.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        He lost the !. It happened on one of his kagillion IFFs. About 40% of his plate appearances are ending in Ks or IFFs. It’s been ugly. Ryan Jackson should be taking his place, but they may just start playing Descalso there more, even though Descalso’s D at SS sucks….Kozma has continued to be plus in the field.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM


        Did you have a good weekend?

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Yeah, it was nice. Finished my wood cutting/splitting/stacking for the year (I hope) and “turned over” my kindling so the old stuff is now on top. Took the dogs on a nice long hike….ran into 9 freaking people, the average is < 1 per 3-4 mile hike, the place was "packed", people getting out after a couple of weeks of stead rain, I guess.

        Sucks about Koz, I'm rooting for the guy…it just isn't happening at the plate.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        Tis the season. I hope you don’t go out alone.

        Are you leaving sacrifices to Jobu?

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        Nope, Molly and Ajax go with me…wait, you mean, with people? Hmmm, that’s a novel thought, I suppose if they were mute, it could work.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        It’s not really good to go in the woods alone. Just in case. Not saying your dogs aren’t Lassie or anything. Just talking is a lot easier, if you need help.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Don’t worry, if I get hurt, I plan to do so by falling in a well.

        I often remember to take my cell phone.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Can you get service out there? Not kidding. Rule one of hiking is don’t go alone. Ok, maybe it’s wear decent shoes, but going with a buddy is up there.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        Yep, we are in the middle of nowhere (well, within the context of the NE), but there is good cell service everywhere. I don’t use my phone much, but I have never been anywhere in which I didn’t have a signal or had a dropped call or anything like that.

        Gawd, you remind me of one of my fishing buddies. He’s is the confined space specialist at Environmental Health and Safety, he sees death everywhere and can’t just leave that shit at work.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        I don’t see death everywhere. Fine, go out by yourself. If you fall in a well, don’t call me.

        /turns game up

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        I guess when you’ve spent so much of your life going into the wilderness in remote places before the days of cell phones and in places that still have no cell phone service, often by yourself out of necessity to get the job done, it just seems like part of life. It never even occurs to me that something bad might happen.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Well, you said you were falling apart. Old people should not go out alone.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        That’s a good point.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Old people are also stubborn.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        Why do I think you were born that way?

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        I am at a loss for why you might think that.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Hmmm, unimaginative thinker, obviously. πŸ˜‰

      • forsch31 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        On top of that, they already have a closer of the moment (Mujica), and a guy they’re pushing to be their closer of the future.(Rosenthal). Their interest in Papelbon is less than zero.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        I still think the view Rosenthal as a future starter. He has multiple plus pitches and can maintain his velocity deep into games. That is much harder to find than a “closer”.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    The Sawks should want nothing further to do with Paps. So long and thanks for the memories. He really looks like a Tigger to Big Unk.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Probably just too many carrots.

  4. ryanrockzzz - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I would be very surprised to see someone take on the Papelbon contract. If I’m the Phillies though, I’m going to try like hell to find one.

  5. mdpickles - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Unless the Cards offer Oscar Tavares for Pap (which is not happening), then I don’t see the value in trading Pap this year. If they are out of contention next year, then yes.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Why would the Cards do that? Please give us more insane Phillies’ trades such as that last commentor in the linked Amaro thread who thought the O’s would trade for Howard with Chris Davis having an insane year (seriously look him up, 23 HR, .335/.414/.697 slash line, 197 OPS+).

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Noooooo kidding. All kinds of stupid suggestions involving things the Cardinals simply don’t need. Yes, have Lee or Papelbon would be nice, but they aren’t needs and they are both expensive. The Cardinals wouldn’t trade Taveras for both even if Philly picked up 70% of their remaining contracts….because they would still get more value for less money by just keeping Taveras.

  6. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    It only takes one. It’s too early to gauge desperation, though. If a team with World Series asperations becomes more desperate in the next month and a half it won’t be hard to imagine…

    It’s not a secret Detroit has late-inning bullpen issues. They have 7 against BOS and BAL, they get CLE for 4 and KC for 3, and CLE and KC play each other 9 times before the deadline. If that doesn’t shake out in Detroit’s favor, well then the Phillies will conveniently be in Detroit days before the deadline to maybe try and sell them something.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      And, by then we should know something about Brian Wilson.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Well the latest is that he is recording a new solo album that will feature other Beach Boys.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Redefining the surfgrind genre, are they?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        So the City planned on doing Saturday work?
        The only reason I ask is because we only have these issues (utility work on the weekend) when there is an issue with the pipeline. Caused typically by an accident of some sort.
        Then we are on a boil order. Our situation is a little unique in that I can get city water…but we also have a well (that we don’t use).

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        They left me a note on my door Friday saying I’d be without it Saturday. They are doing some road work in the neighborhood so they’ve been messing with the water lines.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        I sure wish I could delete a post. You would think there would be some way to do that. What an idiot!

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        I wish I could delete posts ALL the time.

  7. greymares - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I’m buying Detroit they have prospects with power

  8. bostonfreeparty - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    This article is pure speculation, but one would have to think Detroit would be the interested in Paps by a landslide. They’re built for another deep postseason, but the end of their bullpen is the team’s one major hole. They can afford the contract and have the history of big deadline deals (See Sanchez, Fister, etc.). Paps could be their one missing piece.

    Boston has a pretty solid and deep bullpen with Bailey, Uhehara, and Tazawa at the back end. Their issue is injuries and the risk of future ware due to heavy work this season. Boston could take Pap’s contract but, won’t give up a prospect like Bogaerts or Webster in return (Probably a B level one instead).

    St. Louis could use another arm in their pen, but not Paps. Not only is Mujica been spectacular, but Trevor Rosenthal is the real deal closer in waiting. If anything they should go after a middle reliever to deepen the bullpen at half the cost of Paps.

  9. insidefastball - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Papelbon is consistently productive. Sure, his contract is a bit excessive. However, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t continue to be productive for several seasons.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Papelbon? I don’t see it happening. Sure…he would be a wonderful asset. But with the young arms they currently have (and Mujica dealing)…I just don’t know. Plus…Rosenthal is at the ready to spell/relieve/mop up…when needed for Mujica. I think they definitely have Rosenthal pegged for the rotation at some point. Until then he is my idea of the teams Closer (behind Mujica of course).

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Good weekend?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        Yeah…it was great…thanks. A friend of ours had a house warming party.
        Pitched horseshoes and played some intense games of volleyball.
        My buddy is the second coming of Karch Kiraly. So he took all the youngen’s on his team and we played 6 on 6. They beat our asses 3 games to none.
        Then me and two buddies took on a 16 year old and (2) 15 year olds.
        Lemme’ tell you…3 on 3 volleyball on a regulation court is serious work.
        Especially for 3 old semi-overweight dudes. But it was pure joy beating those punks’ ass.
        They were talking big shit when they won those 3 games when it was 6 on 6. Then we got rid of the rift-raft on our team and took em’ to school.
        Beat them “like a borrowed mule.” lol!

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