Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos watched Jonathan Papelbon pitch Friday

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Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon said last month that he would be interested in a trade to the Blue Jays and it appears that the possibility might still have some legs. Check out this report from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:

Maybe Alex Anthopoulos, general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, popped into Bright House Field on Friday afternoon because he enjoys those Delco’s cheesesteaks that they sell behind home plate.

Or maybe he was there to see Jonathan Papelbon.

Whatever the case, it was quite interesting to see Anthopoulos seated in the scouts’ section watching the Phillies play the New York Yankees while his own team was hosting the Detroit Tigers just a few miles away in Dunedin.

Rain began falling in the third inning and Anthopoulos soon vanished. But he was there long enough to see Papelbon have another good spring outing.

According to Salisbury, Papelbon smiled when he heard Anthopoulos was in attendance and said, “Huh, interesting.”

As of now, the Blue Jays are set to go into the season with Brett Cecil as their closer, but they could obviously revisit the situation at some point. Anthopoulos was likely just doing some due diligence on that end.

Papelbon has the ability to block trades to 17 teams, including the Blue Jays. The 34-year-old could demand for his $13 million vesting option for 2016 to be picked up in order to sign off on a deal.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.