According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies are actively shopping closer Jonathan Papelbon in belief they can sign a comparable closer cheaper. Rosenthal notes that Papelbon is due $13 million in both 2014 and 2015 and has a $13 million vesting option for 2016. Papelbon has a limited no trade clause and can approve trades to 12 teams.
Analysis: A day late and a dollar short on this one. Closers, by and large, are extremely overpaid and I’m glad the Phillies front office has come to realize this but this is way too late in the game. Signing a Joaquin Benoit, for instance, will likely net you the same result for less money than having Papelbon but the Phillies are likely literally the last team to the party in this realization. Finding a trade partner who both wants Papelbon, his salary, and his diminishing velocity will be tough.
I certainly applaud to attempt to do this but you really have to believe if the Phillies have come around to feeling this way (that closers aren’t worth nearly what they are paid) then who would bite on a trade to take on $26 million in guaranteed, and $39 million in potential, salary?