It was no secret that Jonathan Papelbon wanted to be traded, and it appears as though he's gotten his wish. As first reported by Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Phillies have traded Papelbon to the Nationals in exchange for minor-league right-hander Nick Pivetta and cash considerations .Drew Storen is the current ninth-inning option for the Nationals, but with Papelbon's addition, that no longer appears to be the case.
Papelbon and the Nationals restructured his contract for next season, and he signed a one-year, $11 million extension to remain with the team through 2016.
Source: Under terms of trade agreement, if completed, Papelbon will close for #Nationals and be signed for 2016.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2015
Papelbon made it clear that he would only agree to a trade if he was allowed to close, and the Nationals have given him his wish, with Drew Storen moving to a setup role. In 39.2 innings this season, Papelbon has pitched to the tune of a 1.59 ERA, along with an FIP of 2.94. He strikes out 9.08 batters per nine innings, and walked just 1.82.
Papelbon was one of many relief options that the Nationals pursued in recent days, along with new Met Tyler Clippard and closers Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. Papelbon has been linked to the Cubs and Blue Jays in trade rumors over the last month. While it was initially believed that his salary might be a hurdle to completing a trade, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Papelbon "will be taking millions less to leave" the Phillies.
Pivetta, 22, was a fourth-round pick of the Nationals in the 2013 draft, and was ranked as the Nationals' twelfth-best prospect at the time of the trade. The Canadian righty is known for his live arm and has a high ceiling, though is an unpolished product. He was excellent in fifteen appearances (fourteen starts) with High-A Potomac, posting a 2.99 ERA before being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg, where he has struggled to a 7.20 ERA mark in three starts.