Jonathan Papelbon trade rumors finally led to something. The Philadelphia Phillies traded Papelbon to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday (July 28), improving a Nationals bullpen that needed another weapon in late-inning situations. A report from CBS Sports also confirms that he will be the new closer for the Nationals, bumping former-closer Drew Storen back to the set-up role. This was one of the contingencies that Papelbon had in agreeing to the deal, so the Nationals didn’t have a lot of choice.
Papelbon is making $13 million for the 2015 MLB season and with the deal, has his team option for the 2016 MLB season picked up as well. Though the amount he will be paid has not yet been revealed, a report from Ken Rosenthal states that Papelbon was willing to take a pay cut to get out of Philadelphia. That’s good news for the Nationals, especially if he shaved several million dollars off his cost of $13 million for the 2016 campaign.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there have been Jonathan Papelbon trade rumors floating around for several seasons now. That’s despite the All-Star closer continuing to put up some of the best numbers in Major League Baseball. This season, he has a 1.69 ERA, 0.983 WHIP, and has gone 17-for-17 in save situations. He is a huge “get” by the Washington Nationals, especially with the added benefit of pushing Drew Storen back to the eighth inning. The Nationals just became extremely dangerous in late game situations.
The full terms of this deal have not yet been revealed, with the contract parameters for Papelbon likely one of the stumbling blocks to getting everything settled. Since he has agreed to take a pay cut for the 2016 MLB season, the team needs to get it all in writing for the league to approve how it looks. The Phillies also have not officially announced which players will be coming back, but it likely includes several good prospects that will help rebuilding efforts take a step forward.
Though Washington Nationals fans may be surprised that the front office went out to get another closer, this is a deal that could really help the team in the long-run. A championship team can never have too many weapons in the bullpen, and this Jonathan Papelbon trade just shored up a weakness that could have killed momentum for the Nationals. As for the Philadelphia Phillies, the new closer is likely to be Ken Giles moving forward.
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