Just a few days ago general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted that the Phillies have no plans to trade any significant pieces, including closer Jonathan Papelbon.
And yet today Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that “the Phillies believe there are at least three teams–Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals–that may have some interest in Papelbon at the trade deadline.”
“Believe” and “may have” in that sentence make it something less than a juicy rumor, but Cafardo adds that “it’s no secret the Phillies are scouting those teams with Papelbon in mind.”
Papelbon has been fantastic this season with a 1.46 ERA and 23/3 K/BB ratio in 25 innings,, although given that he’s under contract for $13 million in 2014 and $13 million in 2015–with a $13 million vesting option for 2016 that could easily be achieved–it’s hard to imagine teams lining up to acquire him, let alone offering any sort of significant prospects in return.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.