Thursday, October 15, 2009

Steve Phillips Is Still Clueless About Jonathan Papelbon

First, Steve Phillips told us about the "significant market" for Jonathan Papelbon. Unfortunately Phillips continued to talk more about the Papelbon rumors yesterday (Thanks, Oliver!). My jaw nearly hit the floor when I read this comment from Steve Phillips' chat on
Oliver (Germany): If there's any truth in the Jonathan Papelbon trade rumours, whocould be a potential fit for the Red Sox. In my opinion this couls only be a playoff contender in need of a great closer with high salary demands (and a lousy closer right now). The Cubs? The White Sox? The Rays?

Steve Phillips(1:05 PM): I think there is a good chance Jonathan Papelbon has thrown his last pitches for the Red Sox. They love Daniel Bard and believe he is the closer of the future. He has great stuff and the Red Sox believe he has the stomach for the role as well. A lot of teams would have interest in Papelbon, including the Cubs, Tigers, White Sox, Rays, possibly the Phillies. He is an elite closer who should bring back a significant return and might allow the Red Sox to plug holes without jumping into the free agent market, as would be their preference.
Okay fine, I understand Phillips reasoning for naming the Cubs, Tigers, and Phillies in the hypothetical Papelbon sweepstakes.....

But the White Sox and the Rays? No chance.

C'mon, Steve. As of right now, the White Sox already have a closer (Bobby Jenks), who like Papelbon, will be getting a substantial raise through arbitration. In fact, there have been murmurs that the White Sox are looking to trade Jenks simply because he's becoming too expensive. If the White Sox are successful in trading Jenks, then Matt Thornton would be next in line to close. Does it make sense for the White Sox to trade Jenks away because of his salary, but then trun around and trade prospects (and maybe more) for Papelbon and the $9 or so million he would make in 2010? Not in my eyes.

Astonishingly, Phillips mentions the Rays as a possible contender for Papelbon. Is he kidding? First of all, why would the Red Sox trade Papelbon to a contending team within their own division that they have to play 19 times a season? Hell no.

In addition, does Phillips actually think that the Rays can afford Papelbon and his $8-$10 million dollar salary? As Rays GM Andrew Friedman said last week:
“I think there’s kind of a misnomer out there that we don’t believe in having someone that can lock down a game,” Friedman said Tuesday at Tropicana Field. “It’s just that when we get into our roster construction and allocating of resources, it’s very difficult for us to allocate a huge amount of money for someone who pitches 70 innings a year.”
I dunno where Steve Phillips comes up with this stuff, but then again, he is the guy that acquired Mo Vaughn.


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