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MLB trade rumors: Nationals, Phillies making progress on Jonathan Papelbon trade

The division rivals may be getting closer on this summer's next big trade.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals are making progress on a deal for Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to a report from's Ken Rosenthal. Washington is known to be looking for relief help on the trade market, with Papelbon one of its top targets.

Though some reports have signaled that a deal between the sides is close, one source said that there is "no official word yet".

Jim Salisbury of reports that Papelbon will be traded before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline, though does not know which team will be acquiring him. At this point, it is fair to say that the Nationals are the favorite to acquire him, though there is no word that there is an agreement between the teams.

Papelbon will only go to the Nationals if he is given an opportunity to close, according to Rosenthal, meaning that the team would have to shift Drew Storen to a setup role. Washington has also been linked to Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and new Met Tyler Clippard on the relief market this summer, with the Jays and Cubs among the other teams who have been interested in Papelbon.

Papelbon, 34, has been very vocal about his desire to be traded out of Philadelphia, and would likely welcome the chance to join a contender if the Nats promise him their closer role. The All-Star right-hander has posted a stellar 1.59 ERA with 40 strikeouts and seventeen saves in 37 appearances this season.