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Jonathan Papelbon would accept a trade to a contender in a heartbeat

Jul 10, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT

Jonathan Papelbon AP AP

Some players on the Phillies are cagey about being willing to waive no-trade protection to go to another team. Jonathan Papelbon is a lot of things, but cagey is not one of them. Jim Salisbury of asked him if he’d waive his limited no-trade clause to go to a contender. Papelbon’s response: hells yeah!

Papelbon was incredulous that a player would not want to move from a losing team to a contending team.

“What?” he said.

“Some guys want to stay on a losing team?” he said.

“That’s mind-boggling to me,” he said.

So if a contender called, you’re ready to go?

“Yeah,” Papelbon said with an are-you-kidding-me laugh. “I think that’s a no-brainer.”

He did note that he would have mixed feelings about it all as he likes his teammates and thinks (correctly) that the Phillies’ pen has really come together of late. But make no mistake, he wants to be in the playoffs and would gladly accept a trade to be there.

I think anyone in this situation is entitled to whatever thoughts they have on it. If Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley say they wouldn’t go or Papelbon says he would, well, those are their feelings. Notably, these conversations always come up when there aren’t actual trades on the table and the question put to the players is merely hypothetical. Lost in it all, usually, is that the players have earned the right to make this choice, either through longevity or negotiation, so we can’t really begrudge them for whatever their choices on the matter happen to be.

  1. nbjays - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Most players probably think this way… Paps just has no qualms about saying it.

  2. schmedley69 - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Let’s hope he keeps pitching well so that he doesn’t hurt his trade value. Last year when he made his famous “I didn’t come here for this” speech, he immediately blew a bunch of games right before the deadline and killed any trade value that he had left.

    The Phillies don’t have any really viable candidates to fill Rollins’ or Utley’s shoes, but they do actually have a really good young player who could take Papelbon’s spot, Kenny Giles. This kid has electric stuff.

    I hope that Papelbon gets his wish. The most unlikable Phillie since Billy Wagner.

    • phillies816 - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      The most unlikable Phillie period. Honestly can’t think of one I despised more. Hated him in Boston also

    • jkaenzig - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Most unlikeable player since Billy Wagner? More like Dominic Brown

  3. phillies816 - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Papelbon is a total DB but he is right on this one. Who would actually want to play for the Phillies right now over a contending team? I cant stand the sight of him so the sooner the better. Trade him for a bucket of spit for all I care.

  4. stupidusername - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    He’s had a great year. Considering the other contracts they have this is probably one of the easier ones to move if they pick up a little bit of it. But this is how I think Amaro will look at it: when the Phillies were good they had some of the better 7-8-9 inning RP’s, especially ’08. If the Phillies are going to be good again sooner rather than later (Amaro’s faulty thinking that this can change in a year or 2) they need as many late-inning relievers as possible. So I can guess Amaro has a very high value on Papelbon despite his contract.

  5. blabidibla - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    The fact that Rollins and Utley won’t allow a trade to a contender hurts their current team. They can’t get the prospects they need for the veterans contracts that are dragging them down.

  6. mungman69 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Get rid of Papelbon as soon as possible.

  7. andreweac - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Papelbon has massive tWtW. No way will Ruben trade him short of landing Mike Trout.

  8. bronco58lb - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Ken Giles can do a better job than Papelbon for the major league minimum.

  9. larrymahnken - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Do you guys just collect the most hilarious pictures you can find for these people?

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      I wonder that myself, haha. I still laugh every time I see that old Detroit Tigers logo with the tiger that looks like it’s on crack.

  10. psuorioles - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    I hear the O’s are looking for late inning relief help… I really hope they don’t trade for this guy.

  11. beachnbaseball - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Jonathan PapSchmear should shut his pie hole. He sure doesn’t endear himself to his teammates with those kinds of comments. “Yeah…..let me bail on these losers”.

  12. tmc602014 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Another big difference between the names in this story: Utley and Rollins have played their entire career in the same uniform. We keep talking about how rare that is (mentioned about 1,000 times re: Tony Gwynn last month) and I can understand that they have a comfort level where they are, and a realistic attitude about their legacy. In an alternate reality the Phils could win 40 of fifty, take the division, win the WS, but Papelbon will never be an “all time Philadelphia great”. If Utley took a trade, where would he go? Baltimore may be considered a contender, but who else needs a 2B? And isn’t it time we admit that the era of AL East dominance is at an end? so If Utley takes that trade, he might add a few more playoff games to his career, but he’ll be the rent-a-player who didn’t get the team over the top and lose his legacy.

  13. irishlad19 - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Once more, Paps demonstrates that his IQ is below his body temperature.
    Engage mouth before brain is his motto!

  14. Minoring In Baseball - Jul 10, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    The Tigers could really use bullpen help. I’m sure the price will be way too high, though.

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