Report: Phillies “really like” free agent Jonathan Papelbon

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Despite previous reports, the Phillies never had a four-year, $44 million contract agreement in place with free agent closer Ryan Madson.

The two sides are continuing to discuss terms and a deal could be struck eventually, but the Philadelphia front office apparently has a fall-back plan in case those talks with Madson completely fall apart.

Here’s the tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman:

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Madson, 31, registered a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings this year, tallying 32 saves in 34 opportunities. Papelbon, 30, posted a 2.94 ERA and 87/10 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 innings, earning 31 saves in 34 chances. The numbers are similar and the ages are similar, so it’s all going to come down to price.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.