Across Major League Baseball, there is always a need for closers so when Jonathan Papelbon‘s name surfaced in potential trade rumors, ears perked up.
Of course, Papelbon doesn’t come without his warts – namely his extremely lucrative contract, but the Phillies are willing to lessen that blow for teams interested in acquiring him.
The Phillies are willing to assume some of Papelbon’s remaining $26 million, a figure that could become $39 million if he reaches an attainable vesting option for 2016. The Phillies never pay players to go elsewhere. The last significant instance was the Jim Thome trade in November 2005, when the Phillies were so desperate to clear space for Howard they paid the White Sox $22 million of Thome’s $46 million remaining salary.
How much the Phillies are willing to absorb remains the issue.
Papelbon, 33, is still a solid closer but is known to be a bit of a unique personality in the locker room and when combined with his contract, it’s going to turn some teams off.
The last club reportedly interested in bringing Papelbon aboard were the Baltimore Orioles, but reports have suggested they’ll look for an in-house option if they can’t sign Fernando Rodney.