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With the MLB Draft behind us, it's time to turn our attention towards the next big thing on the calendar: the trade deadline! The first order of business is figuring out where Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon is going to be pitching for the rest of 2015, and maybe, depending on if he can get his option to vest, in 2016 as well. Now, you might not like Papelbon because of his abrasive and loud personality -- sorry, I just can't agree with you when he's posing in magazines dressed like Ric Flair -- but you have to admit that he's still a fantastic pitcher and would be a huge help to whoever acquires him.
The strikeouts that were missing from Papelbon's game the last two years are back, and he's punching out 11 batters per nine, while walking only roughly a fifth of that. He has a 1.13 ERA and is doing his best work since he first broke into the league as a force of nature at the back of the Red Sox bullpen nearly a decade ago. One of the greatest closers in history -- yes, we've been living in a world with Papelbon long enough for that to be a thing -- is doing some of his finest work, and the Phillies are willing to trade him. Right now, it's the Blue Jays and the Cubs trying to get him, with the latter currently run by the dude that drafted Papelbon in the first place.
The Phillies should not just give Papelbon away. He's so, so good, and the vesting option isn't a burden when he's as lights-out as he's been. Someone will make a play for him, and soon, because there just isn't anyone like this available now. Not after the Braves already traded Craig Kimbrel, not when Aroldis Chapman has been erratic and wild -- it's Papelbon and it's everyone else, and the Phillies should get something legitimate back for him.
- There is only one correct ballot for the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati, and Grant Brisbee authored it.
- Fan voting alone isn't how All-Star Game starters should be determined. Just gonna assume those who disagree with this are currently spamming votes for Omar Infante.
- Sure, Andrew Benintendi was talented enough to be drafted seventh overall, but where does he stack up in the Red Sox's loaded farm system?
- Torii Hunter did not agree with getting ejected on Wednesday, unless throwing a fit and tossing his clothes all over the place is what he does when he agrees with a decision.
- Joe Panik's former minor league team gave away "Panik" buttons. They talk!
- Joc Pederson robbed Yasmany Tomas of a dinger in a battle of rookie vs. rookie. Better luck next time, rookie.
- Alex Gordon totally faked out his third base coach with some grade-school-era "too slow" trolling.
- The best teams in baseball this year didn't draft their own pitchers. Let's see why that is.
- Rangers starter Martin Perez threw 2 2/3 innings in his first rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. With the Rangers hoping to stay alive in the AL West, this could be a huge in-season get for them.
- Real Los Angeles and Fake Los Angeles are apparently a fit for an Andre Ethier for C.J. Wilson swap. Unless you ask the Los Angeleses themselves, anyway.
- It's time for the Tigers to send Shane Greene back to the minors, because he's just not fooling anyone anymore.
- Yasiel Puig is back, y'all.