The Phillies didn't make a move at the non-waiver trade deadline last Thursday which was surprising to say the least. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. deflected the blame on the lack of movement from himself to the other 29 general managers.
One player who held value but was going to be tough to move was closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon, 33, made headlines three weeks ago when he said he wanted out of Philadelphia. He told reporters, "Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That's mind-boggling to me. I think that's a no-brainer (to want to leave)." One local reporter asked Papelbon, 'So you'd like to be pitching for a contender later [in July]?' to which the closer responded. “Of course, man. What kind of question is that?”
Then it surfaced last week that he would only waive his no-trade clause if he was going to be traded to a team where he would be a closer.
So now that Papelbon is still here in Philadelphia and no pitching for a contender, now what?
Papelbon seems content in Philadelphia because Amaro reassured Papelbon that the Phillies would be contenders again. (via MLB.com's Todd Zolecki)
"Ruben had promised me that, going forward, we were still going to compete and, no matter what it took to put a winning product on the field, he was going to do it,” Papelbon told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. “If he could trade me and the trade was right for both the Phillies and the other ball club, then a trade could happen. But if it wasn’t right for the Phillies, he wasn’t going to do it. At the same time, he also promised me that we were going to compete year after year and there’s no rebuilding here with the Phillies. So that was a big boost for me."
Did Papelbon actually believe Amaro? Unless Amaro has some sort of miracle up his sleeve, I don't see how he can turn this team around during Papelbon's time in Philadelphia. Turning this team around without rebuilding is going to be quite the task and I don't know how Amaro can promise the Phillies will "compete year after year."
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