The Brewers and Phillies are engaged in "serious discussions" about a trade that would send Jonathan Papelbon to Milwaukee, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. As Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported, the Brewers are one of the seventeen teams on Papelbon's no-trade list, with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com adding that Papelbon would likely only be willing to waive his no-trade clause if his 2016 option was guaranteed before the season.
As our Justin Millar wrote yesterday, the Brewers are working hard to add pitching in the wake of the Yovani Gallardo trade, with a back-end bullpen upgrade being one of their main goals. The team was reportedly showing interest in free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano, though a trade for Papelbon would likely put them out of the running for either of the free agents.
Papelbon, 34, is due to earn $13 million next season, and his deal includes a $13 million vesting option for 2016 if he finishes 48 games next year. His high salary may mean that the Brewers will have to pay a low price in terms of prospects, with the Phillies gaining salary relief in a way similar to their trades of Marlon Byrd (Reds) and Jimmy Rollins (Dodgers) earlier this winter.
In 66 games for the Phillies last season, Papelbon posted a 2.04 ERA while notching 39 saves in 66.1 innings of work. The five-time All-Star has 325 career saves over ten major-league seasons with the Red Sox (2005-2011) and Phillies (2012-2014).