As the Philadelphia Phillies continue to offload some of their veteran assets, closer Jonathan Papelbon continues to find himself at the center of trade speculation.

Todd Zolecki of has more on two teams continuing to show interest:

The Phillies are still talking to the [Milwaukee] Brewers and [Toronto] Blue Jays about a Jonathan Papelbon trade.

Two sources said this evening that talks are alive, although the seriousness of those discussions is unclear. Yahoo! Sports first reported Friday that the Phillies and Brewers were in serious negotiations. mentioned the Blue Jays’ interest.

In the following days, reports surfaced that a deal with either team is unlikely. But that has not stopped them from continuing to talk about Papelbon.

Indeed, this comes just a few days after Milwaukee’s general manager, Doug Melvin, basically dismissed the likelihood of a deal happening.

“It doesn’t appear there’s any momentum to it right now,” he told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It could be revived later, I guess, but right now there’s nothing happening. Whatever traction there was seems to have dissipated.”

Toronto’s interest appears to be fairly tepid as well, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Haudricourt adds:

Papelbon finished 2-3 this past season with 39 saves, a 2.04 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched. Phillies fans have grown weary of his act, however, as he appeared to make an obscene gesture toward Phillies fans as he was coming out of a game in September and has never shied away from commenting publicly when he’s been unhappy with the team’s lack of success.

But trading him has been made more complicated by his contract. He’s scheduled to make $13 million this season and has a vesting option in 2016 for the same amount of money, which becomes guaranteed if he finishes 48 games this season, per Zolecki

That’s a big contract for a 34-year-old closer who has run hot and cold in his time with the Phillies. 

Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if a team found a way to bring Papelbon aboard, with Philly eating some of the contract. For a rebuilding Phillies team, Papelbon is more useful if he can bring back prospects. For a team looking to contend, Papelbon is a proven closer who was pretty solid in 2014. 


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