Boston Red Sox trade rumors just aren’t going away. Now, a Red Sox trade with the Philadelphia Phillies seems possible, as the Phillies continue to shop closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon used to be the closer for the Red Sox, but he decided to go to the National League in free agency. Now, he is in the final season of that big free agent deal, and the Phillies are pushing hard to get the Red Sox to take him back. It led to the Boston Globe reporting on Monday (April 27) about what might be taking place between the two teams.
“Right now, and it may change, we’re not sure the Red Sox have a closer they can depend on. Koji Uehara’s velocity is down about 3 miles per hour across the board with his splitter and fastball. The Phillies are trying to hook the Red Sox on bringing back Jonathan Papelbon.”
So, is it time for the Boston Red Sox to bring back Papelbon to the team where he started his All-Star career? He is still one of the best closers in the game, despite making headlines for stuff other than his performances on the mound. As relayed by ESPN during the 2014 MLB season, Papelbon got suspended seven games for “making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire.” It led to a lot of bad press about the closer, but he still finished the 2014 season with some great numbers.
In parts of four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Papelbon has a combined 12-10 record, 110 saves, a 2.41 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.013. That includes converting 39 saves and posting a 2.04 ERA and 0.905 WHIP during the 2014 season. In 2015, he has been even better for the Phillies, converting all four of his save opportunities with a 1.23 ERA and 0.545 WHIP. It is clear that Papelbon still has what it takes to be a great pitcher in the ninth inning. That might be exactly what the Red Sox could use this year.
Regarding his current contract, Jonathan Papelbon makes $13 million in 2015, and then has a vested option for the 2016 MLB season. If he finishes 48 games during the 2015 season, that option gets picked up. Meaning, if the Red Sox do acquire him in a deal, using him as the closer would guarantee that option. If the team decided to use him in the eighth inning for a while, though, they likely wouldn’t have to pick up the option.
As previously reported on the Inquisitr, previous Boston Red Sox trade rumors have had the team focused on acquiring an ace. If that doesn’t work out, turning to the Philadelphia Phillies to bring back a familiar face (Papelbon) might make a lot of sense.
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