Blue Jays Trade Rumors: Jonathan Papelbon rumors pop back up


For some unknown reason, the rumors of the Toronto Blue Jays being connected to Philadelphia Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon continue to pop back up.  They are the persistent whisper that just won’t die down.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the latest to drudge of the rumors, mentioning that the Phillies had discussed Papelbon with both the Blue Jays and the Chicago Cubs. However, Rosenthal also notes that those talks are currently tabled despite Philadelphia’s willingness to pay a large portion of Papelbon’s contract.

Toronto and Philadelphia last talked about a potential deal a week ago, and according to Rosenthal, Ruben Amaro would prefer to send Papelbon to the Blue Jays. However, Philadelphia is insisting on landing top prospects in a deal from the Blue Jays and Toronto doesn’t appear any more motivated to part with any of their top young arms to land a late inning reliever now than they did when the teams talked over the winter.

It was over the long winter, rumors of the Blue Jays being interested in making a trade for Jonathan Papelbon ran rampant. After all, the Blue Jays  had made it known that they had every intention of upgrading the bullpen and Papelbon was being made readily available by the Phillies.

But as we all know, the Blue Jays couldn’t find a deal to their liking, whether it be through trade or on the free agent market, and ultimately stood pat. Brett Cecil won the closer role out of Spring Training, lost it a few days into the season, and then regained it when Miguel Castro fumbled the ball.

That’s why the timing of the latest rumors are odd. Cecil has been excellent over his last 12 appearances, allowing just eight hits and one earned run over his last 12 innings of work. During that span, he’s also struck out 15 and walked just two. However, save opportunities have been limited and Cecil has just the two on the season and hasn’t picked one up since May 4th.

With that said, the addition of Papelbon would be an interesting move at this stage of the season. If anything, it allows the Blue Jays to realign their bullpen to better maximize things. Cecil would be able to slide into a set-up role, alongside Roberto Osuna. Aaron Loup could then move into a more reduced role that allows for better match-ups.

Of course, the asking price will be the sticking point, and the Blue Jays don’t appear to want to pay the asking price right now. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the team won’t venture down that road if the need arises further, but for now there doesn’t seem to be any sort of urgency to make such a move.

At which time, I’m sure we’ll hear the whispers again.

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