The Philadelphia Phillies Hate Christmas Sweaters
Bob Whalon | 12/14/13 | 2:00 PM EST 0 Comments
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The Philadelphia Phillies are desperate to trade closer Jonathan Papelbon and the real reason will shock you.

The Philadelphia Phillies hate Jonathan Papelbon's Christmas sweater so much, GM Ruben Amaro, Jr is trying to trade him.

I know some of you think the Phillies are just trying to unload the biggest (worst?) salary ever given to a relief pitcher ($26 million over the next 2 years), but that's only part of this story.  Just look at that sweater.  

Besides, how much could the Phillies even save by trading Papelbon?  Obviously they would have to eat some salary to get a decent prospect in return.  Creating some space under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million would be nice, but they would still have to sign a closer, since there isn't another option on the 40-man roster.  

Phillippe Aumont flamed out last season and was sent to the minors, so he isn't an option.  The free agent closers on the market, Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney or Joaquin Benoit, would all command two or three year contracts worth about $8-$10 annually.  That means that if they traded Papelbon and signed a free agent closer, it would actually increase their payroll.  That doesn't make any sense.  Besides, just how bad has Papelbon been lately?

Sure he had the lowest strikeout rate of his career in 2013 and lost a few MPH on his fastball, but his other numbers weren't bad.

His 2.92 ERA in 2013 was actually lower than it was in 2010 or 2011.  His WHIP (1.135) was lower than in 2009 or 2010.  And his walk rate (1.6 per nine) was the third-lowest of his career.  Sure, his saves went down from 38 to 29 over the last two seasons, but most of that can be attributed to the Phillies' decreased win total.  Yes, he blew a few saves, but 5 of them turned into wins so it wasn't all bad.  And he is considered somewhat of a clubhouse cancer, but nice guys finish last, don't they?  All things considered, he's still a decent closer.

Therefore, the only reason the Phillies want to trade Jonathan Papelbon is because of his ugly Christmas sweater.
In this Article: PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES | JONATHAN PAPELBON | MLB | GRANT BALFOUR

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