Report: Dodgers Emerge As Suitor for Papelbon – Phillies Nation
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Report: Dodgers Emerge As Suitor for Papelbon

According to Mark Saxon from ESPN Los Angeles, the Dodgers reportedly are expected to pursue Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon, 33, is owed the remainder of his $13 million in 2014 and then $13 million in 2015, with an attainable vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 55 games finished in 2015 or 100 between 2014 and 2015. Despite his velocity dipping once again in 2014, Papelbon has a 1.21 ERA with a 0.857 WHIP and 22 saves.

Analysis: The Dodgers have not been afraid to go all-in the last few seasons, taking on big contract after big contract. With a glut of high-priced outfielders and super-propsect Joc Pederson murdering the Pacific Coast League, the Phillies likely could aim for a player like Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp in return which would help the Dodgers alleviate some salary concerns of their own while making room for Pederson.

In my opinion, a trade like that could be potentially disastrous for the Phillies: Ethier makes between $17 and $18 million a year through 2018 while Kemp makes $21 to $21.5 million per year through 2019. The Phillies would likely rather eat part of Papelbon’s contract instead in an attempt to obtain a Major League-ready prospect. Sorry Phillies fans, there’s no way they can pry Pederson out of their hands in a deal involving Papelbon.

However, a Papelbon for Ethier or Papelbon for Kemp deal could be the framework for a much larger mega trade that the Dodgers have shown an affinity for in the past, whether it was the deal that netted them Nomar Garciaparra or the Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez deal. Could Papelbon and Lee for Kemp and a handful of prospects make sense? It sure could – it would give the Phillies some financial relief without having to kick in a whole lot of money because it would be offset by Kemp’s mega deal, which is still less than Lee’s.  Something interesting to think about.



  1. Ken Bland

    July 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “Could Papelbon and Lee for Kemp and a handful of prospects make sense?”

    The initial reaction to that is most certainly. But the hangup is Cliff having to show he’s ready to make it through the season, and I know Cliff’s been mentioned as an August trade candidate after proving healthy, but if a player has to clear waivers to be dealt in August, which I believe is the rule, there are could be a bunch of teams that put in claims on Lee alone to block the Dodgers from claiming him, let alone both guys being free to deal.

    I guess we’ll run across stories of major players being dealt in August over the next few weeks, and there may well have been some, but my inability to recall any makes the chance of such a deal, practical that it might be on multiple levels a longshot.

    Parameters to make a trade these days can make your head spin. This is a good example of such a potential deal.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      July 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Interesting that you mention that: Gonzalez and Crawford were dealt to LA in August 2012. That’s the only August blockbuster I can think of, though.

      • Dave M

        July 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

        I don’t know if you would call it a blockbuster, but Alex Rios moved from Toronto to CWS in 2009 in August. If I remember right, they could not work out a deal, so he was just claimed off waivers.

  2. FACE

    July 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

    If Lee is involved, they better be getting Joc, Kemp and then some.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      July 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

      I don’t see Joc being involved in any potential trade that involves the Dodgers receiving a veteran player unless it’s a 2014 All-Star that is under 27 years old.

    • Skylar0201

      July 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Whether you like it or not, Lee is on the tail end of his career so there is no need to “play up” his value. He’d be the only Phillie I’d miss but I’d love to see him get a ring because he has so much deserved it.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      July 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      They won’t give up Pederson for Lee.

  3. Tim Boyer

    July 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Do you think Hamels could land us Pederson?

    • Ian Riccaboni

      July 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      That might be the bajillion dollar question. I think from a talent standpoint, the Phillies would have to start there in a theoretical Hamels to LA trade. If I were the Phillies, I do not trade Hamels to LA without having Pederson in the deal. That being said, would the Dodgers be willing to sacrifice their best chip to move well into the low $200 million payroll range?

      • Skylar0201

        July 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

        The Dodgers would be asking for likely Lee, Hamels and likely Giles over Paps for Pederson. Dodgers would want at least one youngster in return. No way we land Pederson at all unless we give up a lot in return.

      • Ian Riccaboni

        July 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        I think you are greatly overvaluing Pederson especially considering what it took to get The Shark. I think Hamels is the caliber of player that could start the Pederson conversation.

  4. Jael

    July 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Why saying cliff lee all the time phillies is crazy trade the good player’s to a bad player’s I say this keep kyle keep Aj Burnett keep cole hamels keep cliff lee keep David Buchanan trade Roberto Hernandez ben Revere brown forMike Trout puig .
    What the phillies need someone to step up be a leader stop complaining like Jonathan Papelbon he’s a big cry baby you win as a team you lose as a team is baseball life grow up

    • Billy

      July 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      Why do ppl always come up with stupid trades where we dump our crap for other ppls studs. We have nobody on our roster that would get us trout or puig.

  5. Lefty

    July 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Dodgers really need an ace pitcher right now. They already have a big three right? Maybe they’d be interested in Burnett, I could see that. But I doubt he’s going to the west coast, he wanted to stay close to his home in Maryland.

    And the Dodgers haven’t really shown that they are all that concerned about finances, so I’m not sure they feel in any hurry to dump Kemp’s deal.

    I’d be in favor of any mega deal that dumped the Howard contract, but can’t see the Dodgers or any other team doing that.

    Here’s a crazy one- Howard, Paps, Asche, Brown, Bastardo, and a mediocre/low prospect- for Kemp and Pederson – and maybe a mediocre/low prospect.

    Howard and Brown strengthen their bench, and they are the one team that can afford to pay that for a bench bat. Brown’s a fourth OF and lucky to be that with his performance so far this year. They no longer have a logjam of guys demanding to start in the OF. Asche is a great young 3B for them to take over for 35 year old Uribe eventually. And the obvious upgrade for their bullpen.

    Okay, so it’s nuts- what else is there to do during the break?

  6. Keith

    July 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Lol. Interesting thoughts. I really think if the Dodger’s want any of our pitchers we’re not getting much in return.

  7. George

    July 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I would think that if the Dodgers want a starter in a mega-deal, they’d go for Hamels rather than the aging Cliff Lee. And in truth, if they want a starter, they might actually go for David Price in a seperate deal. Nothing says they have to make some multi-player trade such as they’ve done in the past.

    I hope that Amaro gets something better than an Ethier or a Kemp. They’re both expensive and Kemp seems constantly to have an injury of some sort. If the Dodgers have an ML ready guy to trade, then that’s what should be looked into. If they don’t, I’d attempt to deal Papelbon elsewhere.

    • Skylar0201

      July 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Paps will get more attention I am sure from the Angels. They are so hot now that they’ll give up more than the Dodgers would and we’d be far less likely to get stuck with another mega contract which is *exactly* the last thing we need!

      • Ken Bland

        July 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        If the Angels wind up interested in Papelbon, it’s because something went wrong with acquiring Huston Street. I cannot, for the life of me imagine any club preferring Papelbon to Street. Age, contractual obligation, alleged attitude (big emphasis on alleged, by the way).

        Papelbon is probably a last minute deal, if he goes. Clubs looking for a closer will go after the names they want, and the second fiddles (which might sound disrespectful, but it’s just a separation line of how much a guy’s wanted) will go later. Both Soria, and particularly Street strike as primary targets who are very available. Dealing Paps is prolly easier than a year ago, but still hard.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      July 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      It won’t happen, but seeing Kemp and Bowa reunited would be fun.

  8. Mike in NJ

    July 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I would do Lee and Papelbon for one of those big contract OFers + a top prospect. Either Kemp or Ethier would be a huge upgrade, while taking back some salary. No one will take Howard, and IMO Brown should be traded for another player in a similar circumstance (i.e. former top prospect that hasn’t lived up to billing).

  9. Dave

    July 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Maybe Rollins will ask to go to LA. He already holds the Phillies records for most popups in a career, season, month, week, game, doubleheader, first half, second half, afternoon, evening, weekend, weekday and holiday.

    • schmenkman

      July 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      As well as mouth breathing hecklers told to stfu while hitting walk off home runs.

    • Skylar0201

      July 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      I don’t think we could get that lucky ( about Rollins ) but it’s a nice dream anyway.

      • schmenkman

        July 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        Or unlucky, depending on one’s perspective. I tend to doubt the return will be commensurate with the 5th best SS in baseball.

  10. bacardipr05

    July 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Im i missing something why would they make a trade for a high priced OF’er. I thought the goal was to rebuild with prospects and dump some contracts/salary.

    • Skylar0201

      July 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      You’re absolutely correct but remember, this is Amaro we’re talking about….

    • Ian Riccaboni

      July 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Right and trading Papelbon and Lee for Ethier would shed $21 million for each of the next two seasons and give you a corner outfielder rather than having to kick any cash in.

      • George

        July 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        If they trade papelbon AND Lee, they’d better be getting more than Ethier.

        I’ve yet to call for Amaro’s head, but if he pulled that deal, I’d rush to the Home Depot for an axe.

  11. Hogey's Role

    July 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I would prefer kemp over ethier, being kemp is right handed and ethier has become more of a platoon player… I think we can land joc pederson, being that the dodgers don’t have room for him, and if we put the right package together they could let him go, there is no guarantee he will hit major league pitching after all…. Maybe a papelbon, asche, and lots of cash could get it done, maybe they’ll have to kick in another prospect… It depends on what value the dodgers place on pederson, or overvalue in some cases already posted…

  12. Hogey's Role

    July 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I would try to complete the Seattle deal as well, maybe package Byrd and brown together for dj Peterson….

    Then go to the Yankees and trade cliff lee, cash and maybe a prospect for Luis severino and Aaron judge

    • Hogey's Role

      July 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Just heard talks with Seattle have stalled over Byrd wanting his option picked up, and now Seattle is talking to tamba bay about price and zobrist

      • George

        July 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        I read the same. If the Phils can actually score a good return, perhaps they should offer to pick up a portion of that option’s cost.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 18, 2014 at 9:31 am

        Or offer to pick up the whole cost, 8 million is worth it to acquire dj Peterson I think…. And we could bring up Leandro Castro to play right or left, he seems to be playing decent in aaa right now

  13. Don M

    July 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    The Dodgers do have a solid rotation – but when money is of no concern to ownership – you can always improve, right? I think for the Dodgers to take on a big contract (Lee, Hamels).. they would need a team to take Kemp in return. There are only a few teams that have ACE pitchers to deal.. and only a few teams that have the payroll flexibility to take them.

    The Phillies and Dodgers make sense in a lot of ways – but mega deals like the ones we’re dreaming of almost never happen. We shall see.

  14. Dave

    July 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    The only thing we can be sure of is that Amaro will get fleeced on any deal he makes.

    • George

      July 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Everybody always remembers the bad deals. What about the good ones, like trading 4 pieces of garbage to the Indians to get Lee, or a bunch of mostly reserve players to Toronto for Halladay?

      • Double Trouble Del

        July 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm

        Not a RAJ lover but well said George. The way the market winds seem to be blowing now I wouldn’t be surprised if only minor moves are made prior to the July 31 deadline(Mayberry perhaps?). According to MLB Traderumors the Dodgers are NOT pursuing Papelbon, the Angels are much more interested in Huston Street and the Mariners might strike it rich in a deal that lands them David Price and Ben Zobrist (a player I lament the Phillies never made a real play for). Maybe an August waiver wire deal for Papelbon, Lee or Byrd is in store but Utley and Rollins will hopefully stay put. I would rather watch Utley and Rollins retire as Phillies and have shrewder lower round drafting than rely on the types of marginal prospects that either of the two would fetch.

      • George

        July 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        I’m not a real RAJ rooter, either, but I do think sometimes people overreact to his trades. Everybody makes some bad ones, everybody makes some steals.

        To me, the problem with the Phils’ front office is relying too much on things that are now considered “old school.” Paying too much for a closer is one example; using a “win it all now” strategy is something that very few teams do anymore; they hoard their prospects for a steadier on field performance. Using basic stats, like RBI’s is no longer in tune with current baseball strategy, and sticking with players edging past their prime years hasn’t been the norm for quite some time except in the cases of a few team “icons” or surefire hall-of-famers like a C. Jones or a D. Jeter. Some of that thinking I blame on people higher up than Amaro, but some blame must fall on him, too. He seems too protective of his own a$$ sometimes, and I feel he should at least take a few risks to modernize operations.

        I believe this kind of thinking has left them in the dust, and will continue to leave them in the dust until some draft picks pan out. This year’s trade deadline is already showing a reluctance by teams to dive into the market unless they get exactly what they want– controllable talent and relatively inexpensive talent–and the Phils just don’t have that kind of player anymore.

      • Scotty Ingerton

        July 18, 2014 at 10:15 am

        The bottom line is that Amaro has the resource of a top three payroll and has built one of the worst teams in baseball. He’s an incompetent GM, no matter which “good” deals anyone decides to cherry pick.

      • Dave

        July 18, 2014 at 10:22 am

        That’s because the bad deals far outweigh the good ones.

  15. Double Trouble Del

    July 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I wonder too whether market forces will shift again after the young talent doesn’t pan out. I think the Cardinals might be experiencing some issues in that department.

  16. Hogey's Role

    July 18, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Just read on my scorecenter app that Brian cashman of the Yankees wants to upgrade their rotation, and the Yankees have always been willing to sell the farm…. Send them cliff lee and maybe some cash (not like the Yankees need it) and get severino and judge back…. Strike while the iron is hot Ruben….

    In the past I’ve been against dealing cliff but the current state of the phils and the potential promise of those two prospects or more would make me push to get this deal done….

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