Jonathan Papelbon’s suspension could possibly save the Phillies $13 million

26 Comments

The seven-game suspension of Jonathan Papelbon for his crotch-grabbing is all laugh-worthy, but it could also help save the Phillies some money.

Because general manager Ruben Amaro can’t help himself when it comes to veterans, he not only made Jonathan Papelbon the highest-paid closer in baseball when he signed him before the 2012 season, he even gave him a vesting option that could, if triggered, turn an already-too-long contact into five-year deal. What triggers the option, which would pay Papelbon $13 million for 2016? If he either (a) finishes 55 games in 2015; or (b) finishes a combined 100 games between 2014 and 2015.

Before the suspension, Papelbon had finished 50 games this season. His seven-game suspension will take up most of the rest of the season. While it’s possible that the Phillies would be dumb enough to let him finish 55 games next season to trigger the option, if they avoid that, it will take close to a couple weeks worth of work off of Papelbon’s plate for the two-year option trigger, making it easier for them to strategically sit him without it looking too much like they’re avoiding the option.

Of course, that all assumes that the Phillies want to avoid paying a guy in his mid-30s seven figures. Which is not an impulse they’ve exhibited much in recent years.

Giants beat Mariners again in road game playing at home

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Images
Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO — The nomadic Seattle Mariners are taking their bats from the Bay Area to Southern California for three more “home games” on the road.

Wilmer Flores hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning of the San Francisco Giants‘ 6-4 win Thursday that sent Seattle to a second home defeat played in San Francisco’s ballpark because of dangerous air quality in Western Washington.

The series was moved because of smoke from all the West Coast wildfires. Now, the Mariners are altering their air travel reservations once more and headed to San Diego for a weekend series at Petco Park.

“It’s disappointing, but its the world we’re living in in 2020,” Mariners starter Nick Margevicius said. “There’s a lot of things we can’t control, a lot of things in the season, a lot of things in the world right now.”

Darin Ruf homered in the second inning to back Giants starter Tyler Anderson, who hurt his own cause when he was ejected in the bottom of the third by plate umpire Edwin Moscoso for emphatically expressing his displeasure with a walk to Kyle Lewis.

“Tyler knows that that just can’t happen,” mangaer Gabe Kapler said. “It puts us in a really tough spot.”

Wandy Peralta followed Anderson and threw 49 pitches over a career-high three innings, and Rico Garcia (1-1) worked one inning for his first major league win. Sam Selman finished for his first career save, stranding two runners when Lewis lined out and Kyle Seager flied out.

“Peralta came up huge for us,” Kapler said. “As tough as that was it was equally rewarding and in some ways inspiring to see him come out and give us the length that he did and battle. It gave us a chance to climb back into the game. I thought our guys continued to be resilient.”

JP Crawford hit a two-run single in the second following RBI singles by Tim Lopes and Phillip Ervin, but Seattle’s bullpen couldn’t hold a three-run lead.

Margevicius was staked to an early lead but Kendall Graveman (0-3) couldn’t hold it. The Mariners capitalized in the second after Anderson hit Seager in the backside.

Seattle has fared better against San Diego this season after losing all four to San Francisco. Manager Scott Servais had prepared himself for the possibility his club might have to stay on the road a little longer.

“I think with our players and everybody else it was going to be a two-day trip. That’s what we were led to believe that everything was going to clear up in Seattle,” Servais said. “We can’t control the weather it’s bigger than all of us and with what’s going on there with the smoke. Certainly understand why we have to go but I don’t think anybody was really prepared for it.”

Brandon Crawford contributed a sacrifice fly and Evan Longoria and Alex Dickerson RBI singles for the Giants.

Austin Slater returned at designated hitter for San Francisco and went 0 for 2 with a walk as he works back from a painful right elbow. Luis Basabe singled in the sixth for his first career hit and also stole his first base.

“I didn’t think about it,” said Basabe, who will gift the special souvenir ball to his mother. “I was just happy to get the opportunity.”

Justin Smoak made his Giants home debut as a pinch hitter in the sixth facing his former club after he signed a minor league deal earlier this month following his release by the Brewers.

Anderson, who was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, received his second career ejection. The other was Aug. 13, 2016, while with Colorado.