There's not a much more useless position than an overpaid closer on a losing team. As far as trade chips go, the Phillies have a big one in Jonathan Papelbon as other teams search for relief help for a stretch run and the Phillies... don't.
Yesterday, it seemed that Huston Street of the Padres would be the affordable, club-controlled option for a team with a hole in their late inning relief. The Angels were the rumored top suitor, and after San Diego's game last night, they did indeed pull the trigger on the deal, getting three prospects from L.A. for Street.
With Street off the market, and one less team looking for a closer, Papelbon moved up a notch - but not all the way to the top, it seems. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that today's reliever of the day is Joakim Soria of the Rangers, for his similar deal to Street's.
With Street off the market, #Rangers getting numerous inquiries today on Soria. Has same control for ’15 as Street: $7M club option.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2014
Somehow, Papelbon's remaining $13 million salary for 2015 and vesting option for 2016 are less attractive than closers going for $7 million a pop. As stated before, Papelbon's numbers this season are appealing, but in no way match up to what teams want to pay for him, even in a market that overvalues closers.
If the Phillies want to deal Papelbon, they may have to wait until the music stops and see if there remains a contender with unmet bullpen needs.