Despite recent rumors, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear uninterested in Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon after all.
Yesterday Mark Saxon of ESPN LA tweeted that a source expected the Dodgers to go after Papelbon. After a fan-inspired buzz of potential trades between the two clubs it seems Papelbon is not likely to be on his way to the National League-best Dodgers. Today Saxon tweeted an update that the Dodgers have no interest in the Phillies closer.
While the Dodgers are not likely to get Papelbon from the Phillies, it is still possible he will be traded by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Papelbon recently said it was “mind-boggling” to him why some players would like to stay on losing teams.
Two Phillies players content on staying in Philadelphia include middle infielders Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. Both players have recently said they do not wish to leave the last-place club. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he did not mind his current closer’s view about playing on a winning team. The general manager did say last week he had not gotten trade requests from Papelbon.
The right-hander is guaranteed the remainder of this season and the 2015 season at $13 million per year. If Papelbon finishes 100 games from 2014-15 or 55 games in 2015 his contract will vest for the 2016 season at $13 million also. He currently has 22 saves on the season in 24 save opportunities with a 1.21 ERA, down from 2.92 last season. With 308 career saves, the Louisiana native is just two shy of tying Rich Gossage for 20th on the all time list.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Phillies could be listening to offers on their closer from teams in need of bullpen help.