Report: Phillies and Orioles have discussed Jonathan Papelbon

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The quickly souring four-year $50 million deal the Phillies gave Jonathan Papelbon two years ago, and the Orioles’ recent fiasco with Grant Balfour  may make the two teams unexpected trade partners. MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Phillies and Orioles have discussed a trade involving closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Kubatko adds that the Phillies would have to eat “a lot” of Papelbon’s remaining $26 million over the next two seasons. Papelbon also has an option for 2016 worth $13 million which vests if he finishes 55 games in 2015 alone, or combines to finish 100 games in 2014 and ’15, so it could be $39 million if Papelbon stays healthy and productive.

Since becoming a Phillie after the 2011 season, Papelbon has posted a 2.67 ERA and saved 67 games, striking out 149 and unintentionally walking 27 in 131.2 innings of work. However, there are warning signs that should concern any team looking to acquire the 33-year-old right-hander. According to FanGraphs, Papelbon’s fastball averaged 95 MPH in 2011, but dropped to 93.8 and 92.0 in the following two seasons. As a result, his strikeout rate declined from 34 percent in 2011 and 32 percent in 2012 to a mere 22 percent this past season.

If $15 million over two years is too much for a supposedly injury-prone closer for the Orioles, it’s hard to imagine how much of Papelbon’s contract the Phillies could actually eat to make him in any way more attractive to the O’s than Balfour.

Bryce Harper shaved his beard

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Update (5:09 PM ET): Here’s Harper during his first at-bat on Wednesday in the sixth inning of the resumed game.

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Big news out of Washington, D.C. — MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has shaved his signature beard. We don’t have any photos as of yet, but Harper did recently post this photo of himself, with a mere five o’clock shadow, from six years ago which can give us a reference point.

6 years ago today!🙌🏻 #19to25

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

It hasn’t been the best sports day in the nation’s capital, as Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also announced he was stepping down as head coach after having led his team to a championship.

The Yankees, which coincidentally has a well-known no-facial-hair policy, are in town to make up a suspended game from May 15 and a postponed game from May 16. The suspended game will resume in the top of the sixth inning at 5:05 PM ET. The other game should start shortly after the conclusion of the resumed game. In that game, Sonny Gray will start opposite Erick Fedde.