Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post was first to report that a deal was close, and now Jon Morosi of FOX Sports has it confirmed: Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is headed to the Nationals.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden first relayed that the return for the Phillies would be a pitching prospect who is currently with the Nationals’ Double-A club. That prospect is right-hander Nick Pivetta, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. He was ranked the 12th-best prospect in the Nationals’ system this winter by MLB.com, so this is basically a salary dump.
Papelbon has stated that he would only waive his no-trade clause if he gets to remain a closer, so he’s going to push Drew Storen into a setup role in Washington.
Papelbon owns a sparkling 1.59 ERA and 40/8 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings this season for the Phillies, and he’s 17-for-17 in save opportunities. The 34-year-old right-hander is earning $13 million this year and he carries a $13 million vesting option for the 2016 season. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Papelbon is going to give up that vesting option for an $11 million guaranteed salary.
ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.
After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.
As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.
The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.
Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.
Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.