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MLB Trade Rumors: Detroit Tigers Want Philadelphia Phillies Jonathan Papelbon?

May 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Despite currently being in first place and owners of a 36-28 record, the Detroit Tigers have struggled to close out games.

After sending down Bruce Rondon, who many expected to close for the Tigers coming out of Spring Training, the Tigers opted to re-sign former closer Jose Valverde who was out of the league. The same Valverde who they yanked from the closer role during last postseason and opted not to re-sign given his troubles.

A short stint in the minors and Valverde was called up to be the Tigers’ fireman but with a 4.15 ERA and 3 blown saves in 12 chances, the Tigers are exploring other potential avenues, one that has apparently sent them (or at least a scout) to Philadelphia.

According to Phillies insider Jim Salisbury, the Detroit Tigers have sent a high-ranking scout to watch Phillies games, most likely to watch closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Per Salisbury:

High-ranking Detroit scout here for Phillies-Rockies. Significance unknown. But Tigers have closer issues and Pap could be in play in July.

With a near $160 million dollar payroll, the Philadelphia Phillies (currently 32-35) could become sellers at the July MLB trade deadline and Papelbon’s annual $13 million dollar contract would be a nice chunk to clear, assuming the Phillies do want to blow things up.

Topics: Detroit Tigers, Jonathan Papelbon, MLB Trade Rumors, Philadelphia Phillies

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