Jonathan Papelbon traded to Nationals
In a move that seems to have been in the works for the last week or two, Jonathan Papelbon has finally been officially traded to the Washington Nationals. The Philadelphia Phillies knew that it would be hard to keep Papelbon as their closer, as he was wanting to be traded to a contender, and it was a move that they were forced into and needed to make.
Jonathan Papelbon not only holds the Phillies all-time saves record, but he holds the Red Sox saves record as well. If he can pitch with the same tenacity as he did with both of those clubs, he can probably add the title of Nationals saves record holder as well. If that feat were accomplished he might be close to becoming a first ballot Hall-of-Fame candidate.
According to sources, Papelbon has been traded and guaranteed to become the Nationals full-time closer, taking the reigns from current Nats’ closer, Drew Storen. The move means that Storen and his 29 saves, 1.73 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 2015 are likely headed to the set-up role for the Nationals. Jonathan Papelbon has 342 career saves to go along with a 2.32 ERA, 761 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP. He is no slouch as a closer, but he was very outspoken about the lack of talent surrounding him in Philly, as well as the lack of wins and championships that the Phillies had while he was with them.
This trade was not the first choice for the Phillies, as they tried to talk the Boston Red Sox into acquiring Papelbon in late April. Had that move occurred, both parties would have been happy and Jonathan Papelbon would have been back with his old team, which might not have helped the Red Sox much considering all of their other woes (starting pitching and offense).
Expect Jonathan Papelbon to have plenty of save opportunities in Washington behind the powerful Nationals lineup that will be welcoming back outfielder Jayson Werth tonight. If you’re wondering what that noise is, it is just Papelbon laughing as he takes the train up to Washington.
Dustin Brown covers Major League Baseball for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.