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Jonathan Papelbon will be traded. Eventually. It doesn't have to be in January or even before the 2015 season starts. It could be before the July 31 trade deadline, as a waiver trade in August, or next offseason when his vesting option has kicked in and Philly is stuck with him for another year at $13 million. That's why we shouldn't be surprised that the Phillies haven't cut off all trade talks with the Brewers in spite of their dispute over how to handle the vesting option, and also not all that excited just yet about the fact they're still talking.
The Phillies are also discussing Paps with the Blue Jays, though, as Ken Rosenthal tells it, their interest is as limited as their budget. There is also the seemingly ever-present MYSTERY TEAM in on the proceedings, but we can probably narrow that down. It's an American League club, presumably one with a gaping hole in the back of their bullpen and something approximating enough money for Papelbon. The Tigers seem the most logical fit with those items in mind, and even discussed Paps with the Phillies last summer. They're already going to pay the luxury tax the next two years, so they might as well go all-in and make sure their bullpen can justify that spending.
There are advantages to holding on to Papelbon, you know. It'll help keep closer-in-waiting Ken Giles' price down for a bit longer since he won't rack up saves. Papelbon will be less expensive and likely easier to move the longer the Phils hold on to him, and teams have been known to do desperate things in July to get relievers if they think it will put them over the edge. The most recent example is the Orioles dealing Eduardo Rodriguez, a top-50 prospect with a better ceiling than that, for Red Sox setup man Andrew Miller just last July. You can't guarantee that kind of deal will be on the table, but if there isn't anything worthwhile for the Phils to say yes to now, there is little harm in holding on.
- Alex Rodriguez is a player we should all be rooting for, because real baseball supervillains don't show up that often.
- The Orioles finally did something about the outfield holes they opened this offseason by trading for Travis Snider. Whether that something was a very good move or simply adding a guy after a random career year remains to be seen.
- Changes to US government policy have delayed Yoan Moncada being cleared as an MLB free agent, but it seems the wait will be over soon, and everyone in the game with money will be there to talk to him.
- A downtown Chicago building used their lighting to honor the recently passed Ernie Banks.
- Bud Selig was actively unhelpful to the A's for years in their quest to wrest San Jose from the Giants, and their fans are not sad to see him retire.
- Speaking of San Francisco, is Brian Sabean one of the best general managers ever? You know, the one y'all make fun of for avoiding email and using a Razr?
- Pablo Sandoval is not only a talented hitter and three-time World Series champion, he can also make a half-court shot while sitting on his butt.
- Franklin Gutierrez is back on the Mariners, which means the old jokes about Gutierrez are back, too.
- Are the Yankees getting smarter about how they use their money, or just getting cheaper? It's always hard to tell with them, since they change directions often and out of nowhere.
- A six-man rotation is not a good idea for the Cardinals, even with the potential health problems of their expected starting five.