BOSTON (CBS) – The Phillies have “had talks” with free agent closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman.
Heyman, a weekly guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo, said the Phillies “seem determined: to sign either Papelbon or their own free agent closer, Ryan Madson.
In his first year as Phillies closer, Madson saved 32 games and finished with a 2.37 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He has pitched in Philadelphia for his entire nine-year career almost primarily as a relief pitcher.
Papelbon, meanwhile, has spent most of the first seven years of his career as the Red Sox closer. He had 31 saves with a 2.94 ERA and 0.933 WHIP last season.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old blew a save and lost the final game of the series against the Orioles. Had the Red Sox won that game, they would have forced a one-game playoff against the Tampa Bay Rays for the right to make the playoffs. Instead, they completed an epic collapse to miss the playoffs despite holding a nine-game lead on the Rays at the beginning of September.
Should the Sox lose Papelbon, they could pursue Madson or free agent closer Heath Bell, or they could turn to reliever Daniel Bard.