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Jonathan Papelbon | Relief Pitcher

Team: Washington Nationals
Age / DOB:  (34) / 11/23/1980
Ht / Wt:  6'4" / 227
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Jonathan Papelbon escaped by the skin of his teeth with his 19th save in Tuesday's 5-4 win against the Diamondbacks.
Papelbon allowed a leadoff single to Jake Lamb, who advanced to second base on a deep Jarrod Saltalamacchia fly out. Welington Castillo ground out, pushing Lamb to third base. Lamb crossed home when Yunel Escobar threw the ball away on a grounder that would have ended the game. Papelbon bounced back to get Cliff Pennington on a 1-3 ground out. The run was unearned. He's gotten the save in both opportunities since joining the Nationals, giving him 19 on the year with a 1.69 ERA. Aug 4 - 11:03 PM

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Date:

Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth in Thursday afternoon's 1-0 win over the Marlins, locking down his first save since being traded from the Phillies on June 28.

Everything went according to plan. Former closer Drew Storen entered in the eighth inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced, then handed the 1-0 lead over to Papelbon, who worked a scoreless final frame while striking out one. Storen might not be happy about losing his job, but if he can set aside his personal feelings, the Nationals' new combination for the eighth and ninth could be lethal. Prior to the trade, Paps was pitching to a 1.59 ERA and 40/8 K/BB ratio over 39 2/3 innings. He's now a perfect 18-for-18 in save chances between his two teams.
Jul 30 - 3:17 PM

Nationals acquired RHP Jonathan Papelbon and cash considerations from the Phillies in exchange for RHP Nick Pivetta.

He'll slide into the closer role for the Nats, pushing Drew Storen to the eighth inning. Papelbon also agreed to drop his 2016 salary from $13 million to $11 million in order to have the vesting option exercised, so he's under contract through next season. Ken Giles will take over as the Phillies' closer.
Jul 28 - 8:14 PM

According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, a trade sending Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals has been "agreed upon."

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says the Phillies will receive pitching prospect Nick Pivetta in the deal. Papelbon is expected to take over as the Nationals' closer, pushing Drew Storen into a setup role. The reliever agreed to drop his 2016 salary from $13 million to $11 million in order to have the vesting option exercised.
Jul 28 - 5:51 PM

Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Nationals are "at the finish line" on a trade for Jonathan Papelbon.

Bowden adds that the Phillies' return will be a Double-A pitcher. It sounds like an official announcement is coming soon on this deal. Papelbon has said that he wants to remain a closer and his no-trade clause allows him to uphold that demand, so Drew Storen is going to take a big hit here for fantasy purposes.
Jul 28 - 5:16 PM

According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the Nationals are nearing a deal for Jonathan Papelbon.

Papelbon has said that he won't waive his no-trade clause unless he gets to remain a closer, so he's presumably going to push Drew Storen out of the ninth-inning role in Washington. Papelbon, who's making $13 million this year and carries a $13 million vesting option for 2016, owns a sparkling 1.59 ERA and 40/8 K/BB ratio through 39 1/3 innings this season.
Jul 28 - 4:04 PM

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com hears that Jonathan Papelbon or his agents are talking to the Nationals about a potential trade.

This presumably means that something is close. At issue with Papelbon is that he has a no-trade clause and has said that he wouldn't sign off on a deal unless he closes. Of course, the Nationals already have an All-Star closer in Drew Storen. Papelbon's contract includes a $13 million vesting option for 2016, which he could want guaranteed as part of the deal.
Jul 28 - 2:45 PM

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com hears from a baseball source with knowledge of the situation that Jonathan Papelbon "will be traded" by Friday's deadline.

It was reported last week that the Phillies didn't have any traction in a trade involving Papelbon, with his $13 million vesting option 2016 complicating matters. However, things have apparently changed over the past week, including a report that the Nationals are "making progress" on a deal. It sounds like there should be a resolution soon.
Jul 28 - 12:57 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals are "making progress" on acquiring Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies.

Papelbon has said that he would only waive his no-trade clause if he's sent to a team where he would close, so there's a chance Drew Storen could be moved back into a set-up role. However, the Nationals could sweeten the pot if they guarantee his $13 million vesting option for 2016.
Jul 28 - 11:26 AM

Jonathan Papelbon has indicated that he won't approve any trade unless he will be the closer on the team he's dealt to.

This is an important distinction, because Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had reported Friday that the Nationals could have interest in the right-hander if the Phillies were willing to eat a large portion of his remaining salary. He certainly wouldn't supplant Drew Storen in the ninth inning there, making a match unlikely.
Jul 25 - 9:46 AM

Jonathan Papelbon earned a win against the Rays on Wednesday thanks to two innings of scoreless ball.

Papelbon did allow a hit and walk a batter in his two innings of work, but neither blemish cost him a run and the Phillies would ultimately walk-off on a Odubel Herrera RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. The win was Papelbon's second of the season. In addition to closing out every one of his 16 save chances successfully, he also holds a 1.63 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio across 38 2/3 innings. Recently, he's made it clear that he wants to be traded, but there are monetary hurdles in the way, namely a $13 million vesting option for 2016 that other teams would prefer not to have to swallow. Still, it's likely--though not a given--that he'll find himself in another uniform by the time the calendar kicks to August.
Jul 22 - 5:07 PM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Phillies don't have "any traction" for a trade of Jonathan Papelbon.

Crasnick notes that, not surprisingly, Papelbon's $13 million option for 2016 that's likely to vest "remains a sticking point." It's hard to believe the Phils won't eventually find a suitor for the closer, but it appears nothing is remotely close. Papelbon is having a fine season, having posted a 1.72 ERA, a 38/7 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings while going a perfect 16-for-16 in save chances.
Jul 22 - 12:13 PM

Jonathan Papelbon earned his 341st career save with a perfect ninth inning as the Phillies won 5-3 against the Rays on Monday.

Papelbon is now tied for 12th on baseball's all-time saves leaderboard with Rollie Fingers. He's five away from tying Randy Myers, and 17 away from tying Troy Percival. Papelbon struck out two Rays en route to his 16th save of the season. He owns a 1.72 ERA, a 38/7 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings, and is perfect in 16 save attempts to date. With a week and a half left until the trade deadline, many are wondering whose uniform he'll be sporting in August.
Jul 20 - 10:05 PM

Jonathan Papelbon said at All-Star Media Day on Tuesday that he wants to be traded by the Phillies.

"[Blank] or get off the pot," said the veteran closer. It's the same tune Papelbon has been singing for a while, and the rebuilding Phillies are surely going to try to meet the demand. But the $13 million he's making this season and the $13 million vesting option he holds for 2016 could stand in the way of a trade. Philly is probably going to have to eat some money, even with Papelbon pitching well.
Jul 13 - 2:40 PM

Jonathan Papelbon reiterated Monday that he would like to be traded to a contender.

"The front office knows where my heart is and where my mind is," said Papelbon, who was named to the National League All-Star team on Monday. "And that’s to be with a contending ball club. The ball is in their court, so to speak." The Cubs and the Blue Jays are among the teams who have been linked to Papelbon in recent weeks. The 34-year-old has a 1.65 ERA and 34/7 K/BB ratio over 32 2/3 innings this season while going 14-for-14 in save chances. He's making $13 million this season and his contract includes a $13 million option for 2016 which automatically vests if he finishes 20 more games. The Phillies would likely have to pick up some of his remaining salary in order to get a deal done.
Jul 7 - 12:40 PM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Wilson Ramos
2Jose Lobaton
3Pedro Severino
1B1Ryan Zimmerman
2Tyler Moore
3Clint Robinson
2B1Anthony Rendon
2Danny Espinosa
3Dan Uggla
SS1Ian Desmond
2Trea Turner
3B1Yunel Escobar
LF1Jayson Werth
2Matt den Dekker
3Reed Johnson
CF1Denard Span
2Michael Taylor
3Nate McLouth
RF1Bryce Harper
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Stephen Strasburg
2Max Scherzer
3Jordan Zimmermann
4Gio Gonzalez
5Joe Ross
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Jonathan Papelbon
2Drew Storen
3Casey Janssen
4Matt Thornton
5Blake Treinen
6Felipe Rivero
7Doug Fister
8David Carpenter
9Aaron Barrett
10Craig Stammen
11Rafael Martin
12Matt Grace