It's that time of year. The time of year when Ruben Amaro looks at his team, swallows an LSD sugar cube, and asks "What's missing?" or, "Who needs to get off my team?" Back December 2010, the answer to "What's missing?" was "Cliff Lee", so Ruben went out and got him.
This year, the answer to "Who needs to get off my team?" is none other than Jonathan Papelbon.
Sources: #Phillies trying to trade Papelbon.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Rosenthal went on to tweet details of Papelbon's salary and no-trade clause.
Papelbon is owed $13M in ’14, $13M in ’15 with $13M vesting option for ’16. #Phillies could sign another closer for less.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Correction: Papelbon has limited no-trade clause that allows him to stipulate 12 teams to which he will accept a trade, per @JSalisburyCSN.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Papelbon had an interesting 2013. His velocity dipped. He gave up quite a lot of hits. He had a stretch where he blew four saves in a row (AKA The Week When Liz Lost Her Mind). But he finished the year with 29 saves and a 2.92 ERA. That's not too shabby. Though I'm assuming at $13m a year, the Phillies were expecting him to up his game to "super amazing stellar".
I cannot adequately describe how badly I want Papelbon to be on any other team, and how thrilled I am that Amaro is trying to trade him. But trying doesn't really count for anything. I can try to scale Everest -- look at me, I'm trying to scale Everest right now from my desk chair in Connecticut!! -- but it doesn't count unless I actually do it. While it's certainly good news that Amaro is trying to trade Papelbon, he has to actually do it in order for me to give him credit. It's not like a skee-ball game, where if you miss the center slot you fall over into the next best. If Amaro fails at trading Papelbon, he doesn't fall into trading Mike Adams. He just fails. I think Amaro will have to eat half of Papelbon's contract to move him to another (very lucky!) team. Personally, I have no problem with the Phillies paying Papelbon to play for literally any other team anywhere in the entire world. (Perhaps the Adelaide Bite could use him!) But it's not something Amaro has seemed willing to do in the past.
This report is still very new, and I'm guessing that any real movement on this will occur next week during the Winter Meetings. We'll keep you updated on any and all Papelbon trade news. Meanwhile, here's Wet Luzinski employing a Star Wars quote in the most appropriate way possible.