By Sam Bush
Here we go again.
Last July all of major league baseball knew that feckless Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wanted to dump overpaid pain-in-the-ass reliever Jonathan Papelbom that every prospective suitor lowballed the Phils.
So, Amaro couldn’t trade him, and now he can’t for the same reason so the Phils seem stuck with him!
Papelbon, though expensive, has been one of the best in the business since signing a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies after the 2011 season. In the three seasons since, he has saved 106 games with a 2.45 ERA and a 212/44 K/BB ratio in 198 innings.
Only a handful of closers have been better: Craig Kimbrel, Greg Holland, Huston Street, Aroldis Chapman,Fernando Rodney, and Kenley Jansen are the only other ones to have saved at least 95 games with a lower ERA than Papelbon since the start of the 2012 season.
And yet, no one wants to trade for Papelbon, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. He writes that the Blue Jays and Astros are two teams with an obvious need at the back of the bullpen but neither is interested in paying the price. Recent reports have indicated that Amaro has a high price tag on his tradeable assets.
Papelbon, 34, will make $13 million in 2015 and, as long as he stays healthy and finishes 48 games in the upcoming season, will likely have his 2016 option for $13 million vest as well. In any trade, the Phillies would likely have to cover most or all of his remaining salary to get anything of value in return.