What’s the latest with Jonathan Papelbon’s efforts to get out of Philadelphia and into a contending team’s bullpen?
Reports vary wildly, of course, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says he’s “getting no sense the Phillies have any traction” on a Papelbon trade.
Why? Because, according to Crasnick, his $13 million vesting option for 2016 “remains a sticking point” for teams due to the Phillies apparently still refusing to cover it.
Papelbon has made it abundantly clear that he wants to be traded and this is the final guaranteed season of his contract, but based on games finished there’s a good chance the $13 million option would trigger for next season. And while he’s pitching at a very high level right now with a 1.72 ERA most teams are still not keen on having him on the books for that much.
During today’s All-Star media session Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon reiterated his stance from last week that the Phillies should trade him as soon as possible:
Nothing new except for the phrasing, although that’s sure to receive plenty of attention. Papelbon has been very open about his desire to be traded and gives strongly worded quotes whenever he’s asked about the situation recently.
Named an All-Star for the sixth time at age 34, he has a 1.60 ERA and 35/7 K/BB ratio in 33.2 innings this season in the final fully guaranteed year of his contract.
Philadelphia is in need of plenty of pitching help, but the Phillies have designated veteran right-hander Kevin Correia for assignment after he went 0-3 with a 6.56 ERA in five starts.
Correia wasn’t even particularly good at Triple-A before being called up by the Phillies and was a mess last season for the Twins and Dodgers, so it’s no surprise that he pitched poorly at age 34.
He’s one season removed from a two-year, $10 million deal with the Twins, but Correia hasn’t posted an ERA better than the league average since 2007 and may be running out of chances.
Right-hander Chad Billingsley will come off the disabled list and rejoin the Phillies’ rotation Thursday versus the Brewers, reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Billingsley has missed six weeks with a shoulder injury and didn’t fare particularly well on his minor-league rehab assignment, but he’s feeling healthy and the Phillies basically need warm bodies for the rotation.
Billingsley made three starts for the Phillies before being shut down, allowing 13 runs in 16 innings after missing most of 2013 and all of 2014 with injuries.
This morning Cole Hamels was scratched from his scheduled Friday start with a hamstring strain and this afternoon when the media entered the Phillies’ clubhouse they noticed that his nameplate and various belongings were gone from his locker.
That series of events–plus months of Hamels trade rumors–led to speculation that a trade may have happened, but instead it was just a joke by … well, no one is sure yet.
I hope it turns out general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did it.