The Philadelphia Phillies have engaged in serious discussions to send closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Milwaukee Brewers, sources familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.
Papelbon's contract, which calls for a $13 million salary this season with a $13 million option for 2016 that vests if he finishes 48 games this year, includes a no-trade clause that can block deals to 17 teams. It is unclear if Milwaukee is on the list.
The Phillies' desire to trade Papelbon is no secret as they start a massive rebuild that already has seen more than $40 million shaved off their estimated opening-day payroll. While the 34-year-old is coming off a typically excellent season, with a 2.04 ERA and 39 saves, his flagging velocity and perceived negative attitude – Papelbon was suspended for seven games last September after grabbing his crotch following a blown save in Philadelphia – led to them looking for a trading partner.
Milwaukee could be it. After sending Yovani Gallardo, who makes $13 million, to the Texas Rangers this week, the Brewers expressed interest in acquiring late-inning relief help.
After seven successful seasons in Boston, Papelbon joined Philadelphia on a four-year, $52 million deal. Over his 10-year career, he has a 2.37 ERA, 325 saves and 721 strikeouts in 627 1/3 innings.