Phillies closer Jonathan 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 Phillies GM Ruben 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.
Latest Wild Card Standings
With two days remaining in the regular season, the Mariners are still alive. Kendrys Morales, Michael Saunders, and Dustin Ackley all homered as Seattle hung on for 4-3 win over the Angels last night in Anaheim.
All of the offense came against Jered Weaver, who lasted six innings in his final tuneup before the postseason. Hisashi Iwakuma allowed two runs (on back-to-back solo homers from Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout) over 6 1/3 innings for his 15th victory. Fernando Rodney made things interesting in the ninth by giving up a out-out RBI double to Erick Aybar which put the tying run on second base, but he was able to get the final two outs to wiggle out of the jam and finish off the win.
The Mariners are currently two games behind the Athletics for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. The Athletics beat the Rangers 6-2 last night and have a magic number of one to clinch a postseason berth. That means the Mariners can’t lose another game and need the Rangers to take the next two from the A’s. They need a lot to go their way, but they still have a shot.
Your Friday box scores:
Angels 3, Mariners 4
Marlins 0, Nationals 4/Marlins 15, Nationals 7
Orioles 2, Blue Jays 4
Braves 4, Phillies 5
Twins 11, Tigers 4
Astros 3, Mets 1
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2
Pirates 3, Reds 1
Athletics 6, Rangers 2
Cubs 6, Brewers 4
Royals 3, White Sox 1
Cardinals 7, Diamondbacks 6 (10 innings)
Rockies 4, Dodgers 7
Padres 4, Giants 1
It’s probably too little too late, but the Mariners snapped their five-game losing streak this afternoon with a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Starting in place of the struggling Chris Young, Tom Wilhelmsen put the Mariners in an early 2-0 hole, but they jumped in front in the fourth inning with an RBI single from Kyle Seager and a three-run homer from Logan Morrison. The rally snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak for Seattle. The Blue Jays tied things up in the fifth, but the Mariners moved ahead for good in the sixth with solo homers from Morrison and Mike Zunino. Seager then added some insurance with an RBI single in the seventh. Fernando Rodney gave up a solo homer to Kevin Pillar in the ninth, but managed to hang on for his 47th save of the season.
This win means that neither the Athletics nor the Royals can clinch a Wild Card spot even if they win their respective games tonight. The Mariners are 2 1/2 games back of both teams at the moment and need a miracle to avoid elimination.