Papelbon, Philadelphia’s all-time saves leader, has been vocal about his preference to play for a winner and said earlier this season that he didn’t “really feel much like a Phillie” and would be disappointed if he is not dealt.
The 34-year-old, six-time All-Star can block trades to 17 teams, according to his contract, and is making $13 million in 2015 as part of the four-year, $52 million deal he signed in 2011, which at the time was the richest contract ever given to a reliever. He can make another $13 million next season if he finishes 48 games this season.
"That's not what I signed up for," Papelbon said. "I signed up with a team that won 102 games, and I expected certain things. It didn't happen, and I've tried to ride that ship and keep my mouth shut as much as I can. But it's time for the Phillies to you s--- or get off the pot.”
Papelbon, who has a 1-1 record with a 1.60 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 33.2 innings this season, said he feels three years is long enough to endure losing. In 2011, the season before Papelbon signed, Philadelphia won 102 games. In his three seasons with the team, the Phillies have recorded 81 wins (2012), 73 wins (2013) and 73 wins (2014). The Phillies (29-62) are in last place in the NL East and have the worst record in baseball.
"Here's what a lot of people don't understand," Papelbon said. "If this decision was solely on my shoulders, I would have been gone a long time ago. But I only have so much power. I can only do so much.”
- Scooby Axson