While many people have said that Jonathan Papelbon will likely be traded at the deadline, Jon Heyman of CBS talked to a couple of rival executives who said that the Phillies would "seriously weigh" a trade involving Papelbon, but a couple of other executives told Heyman that they would keep Papelbon, as it would be too hard to replace him.
Nothing is concrete as of now to tell us if Papelbon will stay or go, but right now, after reading Jon Heyman's article, it appears that it is likely that the Phillies keep Papelbon. While anything can happen, it appears he will stay, barring a drastic turn of events.
If the Phillies do trade Papelbon, who do they replace him with? Mike Adams? No, he is hurt and likely out for the year. The most likely option if they were going to have one closer appears to be Antonio Bastardo, as he has been improving the Phillies bullpen as of late. While he is hot right now, he has been inconsistent throughout his career. The most likely of all options is that they go with a closer-by-committee with Bastardo and one other relief pitcher.
It doesn't appear likely that Papelbon gets dealt at all, as the Phillies are now likely to be buyers come the Trade Deadline. On the year, Papelbon is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA and a 31/6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Earlier last month, Papelbon was really struggling as he was blowing saves consistently, but he has kicked it back into gear and become a dominant force in the back of the Phillies bullpen.
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