Update, 4:24 PM: Papelbon is likely headed to the Washington Nationals.
Source: Deal to bring Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals is nearing completion.
Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) July 28, 2015
Update: Jim Salisbury says a source within the Phillies has indicated Johnathan Papelbon will be traded. Whether or not it is prior to or following the non-waiver deadline this Friday’s 4 PM deadline is unclear.
Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2015
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Nationals and Phillies are progressing on a deal that would send closer Jonathan Papelbon to DC. Papelbon is signed through 2015 with a vesting option for 2016 at $13 million. His option will vest if he has 14 more games finished in 2015. Theoretically, Papelbon would be an intriguing rental for a team looking to upgrade their set-up man spot until you read his desire to continue to close. Whether greed or hubris, Papelbon very much has skin in the game as no team is likely to pay Papelbon $13 million for 2016 if he hit the open market following this season.
As Jayson Stark reminds us:
Before everyone assumes Jonathan Papelbon goes to #Nationals, remember he can block a deal there — & has said he won’t set up or share 9th
Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 28, 2015
The Nationals remain one of only a handful of teams that are seeking top-shelf bullpen help that could afford Papelbon. Papelbon’s salary and vesting option, however, are likely enough to chase teams like the Cubs and Jays away, perhaps giving the Nats some leverage.