Chase Utley has been thrown around in trade rumors but one rumor that seems to be gaining steam is closer Jonathan Papelbon to Detroit. A few executives claim the Phillies are talking to the Tigers and Red Sox despite what Ruben Amaro Jr. is saying to the media. One executive said "Don't be surprised if you see Papelbon end up in Detroit. If the Tigers have a chance to get the closer they need, they won't let [a big asking price] stand in the way."
This is very interesting. A quality closer serves little purpose on a team that is not winning games. Plus, Papelbon has struggled lately anyways.
The team needs an influx of young talent as the core continues to age and the Tigers, who won the American League last year, might spare no expense to get back and win it. Papelbon could be their guy and Amaro would be foolish to hold on to him if that were the case.
The Tigers do have one very interesting trade chip that could help the Phillies if they'd be willing to part with him: Nick Castellanos. The 21 year old outfielder has spent much of his professional baseball at third base but moved to the outfield because he is blocked by reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. He was the 2012 Futures Game MVP. The 2010 supplemental round pick is the 20th overall, and Detroit's top, prospect according to MLB.com. Castellanos can hit for average and power as he is hitting .293/.368/.477 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI in 72 games in Triple-A this year.
This is certainly going to heat up if the Phillies continue to falter. And if they can get whatever asking price they want for Papelbon, they should ask for all the tea in China. That's right, all the tea.
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