Johnathon Papelbon’s Phillies career may come to an end sooner than expected this season.
Recent reports out of FOXSports.com show that the Toronto Blue Jays have been in legitimate talks for the 34-year-old right-hander.
The main issue that remains with the Phils' all-time saves leader is the $13 million owed to him this season. Papelbon is also 26 games away from a vesting option next year to guarantee another $13, a number he is expected to reach with ease.
Papelbon has a 1.12 ERA with 12 saves and 29 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched thus far this season.
The Phillies front office has stated all along that they would eat a portion of a player’s salary if an exceptional amount of young talent was returned for that player.
Toronto is in need of back of the bullpen help, especially if it plans to contend for a playoff spot later down the road. The Cubs have also expressed interest in the closer.
Papelbon has been, arguably the Phillies best player this season and has pitched lights out. The Phils, reasonably, expect to get something genuine back for him. The reality of the outspoken pitcher still wearing red pinstripes past July 31 is unlikely, but how close it will be to that date relies on Ruben Amaro Jr.