Per Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post with confirmation from Fox’s Jon Morosi, Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon is headed to DC and will assume the closer’s role. As part of the deal, Papelbon’s 2016 option has been picked up but has been restructured, meaning Papelbon will be paid millions for the opportunity to leave the Phillies. The Phillies will receive Nick Pivetta, a right-handed starting pitcher from Washington’s Double-A affiliate.
Papelbon leaves the Phillies as their all-time leader in saves and was the team’s only reliever to be selected to two NL All-Star squads. With a boisterous personality, Papelbon’s statements, and gestures, often clashed with the sentiments of the fans. Papelbon converted 123 out of 138 save chances with the Phillies and leaves the team with a 2.31 ERA, 1.022 WHIP, and 9.5 K/9 IP while a Phillie. It is expected that Ken Giles will become the Phillies’ closer.