Would Jonathan Papelbon make sense?
Jul 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) and catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) react after defeating the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Phillies defeated the Braves 4-0 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Many Astros fans want to trade for Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman from the Reds in a package deal, but that would cost 4-5 top prospects for the Astros. However, the Phillies may be tiring of Papelbon’s constant nagging and might be willing to trade for less. Other teams will try to bid on him as well, but the Astros should have the talent to trade for any pitcher. Papelbon appears to be willing to play for anyone willing to trade what it takes to get him out of that mess called the Phillies.
Looking at Papelbon’s stats above, they are similar to what Will Harris offers the Astros in the closers role. I have nothing against Luke Gregerson, he has been one of the driving pieces in the bullpen in 2015 and could retain the closer’s role even with Papelbon on the team. Even if Papelbon took over the closer’s role because his drive and fire demand it, it pushes all the other members of the bullpen into different roles. This will make the bullpen better as a whole.
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Would we want such a character as Papelbon on our team? He wants to win and he could bring fire to the Astros bullpen who’s current leader is Chad Qualls despite not being the closer. The pitchers in the bullpen seem to be a quiet bunch, who could use some of the fire and intensity that Papelbon could offer.
Too soon to speculate on what it would take, but I think Michael Feliz and mid-ranked top-30 hitting prospect would do. Would Ruben Amaro take Jon Singleton back straight up? If the Astros want to trade for Papelbon, he would be willing to play for the Astros as long as they are winning. You have heard of fair-weather fans, Papelbon is a fair-weather baseball player. He could make a difference in the Astros bullpen, but do the Astros need to focus on trading for offense instead. I will tackle that next post.
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