Jonathan Papelbon could be headed back to the American League East — but if the former Boston Red Sox closer returns to Fenway Park, it might be as a visitor.
The Toronto Blue Jays are one of two teams that have held recent trade discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies regarding Papelbon, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports. The Chicago Cubs are the other.
As with every previous Papelbon rumor, negotiations reportedly are held up over how much of the closer’s contract the Phillies are willing to pay and what prospects their trade partner is willing to give up. The Blue Jays and Cubs naturally want to pay as little in money and talent as possible to acquire Papelbon, who could be guaranteed as much as $21 million through the 2016 season if he hits certain benchmarks this season.
Papelbon has a limited no-trade clause, but it’s unlikely he would block a trade at this point. In addition to being familiar with the AL East thanks to his time with the Red Sox, he also has ties to the Cubs’ front office, as president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer drafted Papelbon in Boston.
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