Phillies News: Team Has Reportedly Discussed Jonathan Papelbon Trade with Nationals

After Jonathan Papelbon sealed their sixth win in seven games coming out of the All-Star break, the Phillies lone representative at the Midsummer Classic had his name come up in an interesting potential trade scenario. Both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reporting that the Washington Nationals have expressed interest in the Phillies closer.




Though the Phillies most likely would prefer not to trade within the division, there is a perception that they cannot afford to be picky when it comes to Papelbon. He has already expressed his displeasure with the current situation. Even with the team’s recent run of success, the 34-year-old reliever seems adamant about moving to a club contending for a playoff spot. He has shown no hesitation to take his feelings public, and would most likely continue to do so if the Phillies passed up the opportunity to trade him prior to this season’s deadline. 

As for the Nationals, Papelbon would give them something they have lacked in their two postseason appearances over the last three years: a back-end bullpen rotation with playoff success at the highest level. In NLDS exits in 2012 and 2014, Washington blew late game leads on various occasions. Though they continue to boast arguably the most talented roster in baseball, one cannot help but wonder if they might be destined for a similar fate if they go into October with Drew Storen serving as the team’s primary closer.  

Storen is having a spectacular season for Washington in 2015. He has 29 saves, sports a 1-0 record to go along with a nifty 1.73 ERA. What has to be on the minds of the Nationals, should they indeed be pursuing this type of deal, is Storen’s forgettable 8.44 postseason ERA in six career appearances. With other teams around baseball starting to catch up to Washington in the talent department, they can ill-afford uncertainty at the closer’s role if they want to deliver on their lofty 2015 expectations. Even though it could possibly result with having to see him potentially six more times this season, the Phillies would be wise to engage any potential suitor if it meant moving on from Jonathan Papelbon.