After his comments yesterday, I made the case that regardless of the return, the Phillies may be best served to move Jonathan Papelbon just to get him out of the locker room.
So this morning I poked around a bit to try to get the sense of Papelbon’s value around the MLB, and asked a few national and local MLB reporters. Buster Olney of ESPN, who is considered the preeminent national baseball reporter by many, quickly gave me his thoughts.
@KashKelly_TRST A lot of concern about 1) His contract. 2) His diminished fastball velocity.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 29, 2013
Papelbon’s fastball has lost a few ticks this year, and he still has two-years and over 25 million dollars with a very reachable vesting option for 2015. So those are two concerns, not to mention the fact that he is becoming a distraction with the Phillies and is a questionable character to bring into a clubhouse in a pennant race.
Still, from a Phillies perspective I really am beginning to feel like getting Papelbon out of Philadelphia before this really gets ugly, may be the best scenario for the Phillies. While the Phillies likely won’t fetch much on the trade market for Papelbon right now with teams knowing that he is growing unhappy in Philadelphia, it gets them salary relief and avoids what could become Terrell Owens type drama.