ESPNLosAngeles report Mark Saxon tweeted Wednesday night that a baseball source informed him that the Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to pursue a trade for Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Paplebon.
Earlier in the month, Papelbon made it very clear that he would waive his no-trade clause to be traded to a contender. He also expressed disdain at playing for a losing team. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. later said he wasn’t concerned by Pap’s statement.
Papelbon is in the middle of one of his best seasons as a closer, with 22 saves in 24 opportunities, a 1.21 ERA, and an 0.86 WHIP in 38 appearances. With the Phillies 10 games out of first place in the NL East, it’s likely that Papelbon won’t be the only veteran traded in the coming weeks. Papelbon's contract is a bit prohibitive for most teams, but LA has shown no qualms about spending money on proven (and unproven) veterans to win now.
The Dodgers are likely interested in Papelbon to improve a bullpen with a 3.74 ERA over the first half of the season. However, the current Dodgers closer is not having a bad year. Kenley Jansen has converted 27 of 30 saves chances. Jansen’s ERA is slightly high at 3.49 and his WHIP is 0.3 higher than his career average at 1.267, but he has been very effective.
If Papelbon is traded to LA, it’s likely that he’ll be given the opportunity to close with Jansen either traded or relegated to the set-up role. Papelbon’s postseason credentials are much more extensive than Jansen’s 4.1 IPs, 4.15 ERA and 1.615 WHIP.
There have yet to be rumors about what the Dodgers would offer in return for Papelbon, but it will probably be one of the best packages the Phillies are offered for any of their veterans during the next few weeks.
As possible trade scenarios develop, make sure to check back with Phillies101 for the latest!
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