Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon: 'I want to go play for a contender'
“The front office knows where my heart is and where my mind is,” Papelbon told CSN Philly. “And that’s to be with a contending ball club. The ball is in their court, so to speak.
“I think everybody knows where I’m at,” he added. “I’ve always been straightforward that I want to go play for a contender and I’m not going to shy away from it. I feel like that’s my right and my prerogative to have that opportunity and, you know, it’s in their hands.”
Papelbon has been open this season about his desire to move on from the team he has played for since 2012. He told the Boston Globe in April that he didn't “really feel much like a Phillie.” He also told CSN Philly later that month that he would be disappointed if he weren't traded.
Papelbon, 34, was chosen as the Phillies' representative for the All-Star team. He has a 1.65 ERA in 32.2 innings this season and has converted all 14 of his save opportunities.
Philadelphia currently has the worst record in baseball at 28–57 and is on pace for 108 losses, which would be the team's most since 1945.
The Phillies signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011 that was the richest ever for a reliever at the time. He is owed about $6 million for the rest of this season and has a vesting option for next season that pays him $13 million if he finishes 55 games this year.
- Dan Gartland