Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Phillies let it be known that they were shopping Jonathan Papelbon even if it looked like it was going to be hard to pull off a trade involving the pricey closer. But even with the big contract attached to him, the Phillies may have found a trade partner in the Baltimore Orioles.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that the Orioles have engaged in trade talks with the Phillies for Papelbon’s services.
Phillies have talked to #orioles about Papelbon, but they’d have to eat a lot of that contract.
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 21, 2013
This rumor comes on the heels of a nasty contract fallout between the Orioles and free agent closer Grant Balfour. Baltimore offered, agreed to but eventually pulled a two-year, $14 million contract with Balfour after concerns arose from his physical. The Orioles likely aren’t done dealing with Balfour but they need a closer still and that seems to be where the interest in Papelbon is stemming.
Philadelphia would likely need to eat a significant portion of the closer’s contract if he were dealt to the Orioles, and a deal isn’t imminent, but Papelbon might be on the move quicker than we thought.