By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the sixth time in his career, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is an all-star. Papelbon, 34, however, is concerned about winning—and that’s not going to happen in Philadelphia.
“I would be surprised [if I wasn’t traded],” Papelbon told reporters Monday via ESPN.com. “Yeah, that would be a pretty valid answer.
“I don’t make these decisions. The front office knows where my heart is and where my mind is. And that’s to be with a contending ballclub. The ball is in their court, so to speak.”
Papelbon has 14 saves in 14 chances with a 1.65 ERA this season for the 28-57 last-place Phillies. He now has 339 career saves. Furthermore, if Papelbon appears in 20 more games, his $13 million 2016 player option will activate.
The Phillies closer can block a trade to 17 teams and says he wants to go a contender.
“I’m going to whoever wants me the most and whoever feels like I can help them the best,” Papelbon said. “I think everybody knows where I’m at. I’ve always been straightforward that I want to go play for a contender, and I’m not going to shy away from it. I feel like that’s my right and my prerogative to have that opportunity and, you know, it’s in their hands. The ball’s in their court. I guess that’s kind of it.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to work the phones as the July 31st trade deadline nears.
Listen: Ruben Amaro Jr. on the 94WIP Morning Show
“We’ve had continual dialogue on a variety of fronts,” Amaro told the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday, when asked about trading Papelbon. “You know, obviously we want to be able to add some youth to our system and that’s been a part of our process from the beginning of last offseason. We’re going to continue to try to do that.”