Updated 01:10 PM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

MLB Trade Rumors 2014: Jonathan Papelbon Still Available, New York Yankees Could Get Former Rival Closer

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The Philadelphia Phillies are still very much open to trading away closer Jonathan Papelbon, and the New York Yankees could be an ideal trade partner for the former Boston Red Sox closer.

Despite the abundance of solid free agent hurlers available on the market, Papelbon remains one of the most intriguing pitchers that could be acquired this offseason.

The Phillies have previously shown their intent to trade Papelbon, but teams have been hesitant to absorb the remaining money in his current contract. The closer is still owed $26 million over the next two seasons.

"Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com and others reported in December that the Phillies were looking to move the veteran right-hander, who is still owed $26 million over the next two seasons," via Bleacher Report. 

"It's going to be difficult for them to move Papelbon in light of the size of his contract, but perhaps they'll find somebody desperate enough to do business before spring training gives way to Opening Day," the report added.

Yankees in Equation

The Yankees are in spending mode once again this winter as they acquired big name free agents such as Jacoby Ellsbury (7-year, $153 million), Carlos Beltran (3-year, $45 million), and recently Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka (7-year, $155 million).

All in all, the Yankees have already committed $471 million in free agency this offseason, and that figure could climb higher as the Yankees reportedly look to sign Stephen Drew.

The Yankees might not have the farm system prospects to make the trade attractive for the Phillies, but they could still pull off a deal for Papelbon as they can help the Phillies release fat contracts off the books.

"First and foremost, the New York Yankees should be considered as potential trade partners. For starters, the Yankees' farm system is nothing to write home about, but they would be doing the Phillies a favor by helping take Papelbon off of their books," wrote Bleacher Report MLB analyst Pete Dyneck.

Moreover, the Yankees desperately need to find the successor of the great Mariano Rivera, and bringing in a closer of Papelbon's caliber in the pivotal inning of the match would surely help the Pinstripes next season, according to several baseball insiders.

"Mariano Rivera has retired and the Yankees still are floundering with regard to who will handle the closing duties. While it appears that David Robertson is primed to take over the ninth inning for the Bronx Bombers, nothing is yet written in stone," he added.

The 33-year old Papelbon went 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA and 29 saves last season with the Phillies.

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