Last week, rumors came out that the Milwaukee Brewers were about to make a giant mistake and trade something of some value to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon. The Brewers were interested in Papelbon, but as soon as those reports heated up, they subsided. Why? Because Ruben Amaro’s vesting options, like in many of the contracts he draws up, are a real problem.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Papelbon’s $13 million vesting option for 2016 is making any deal for him difficult. The problem comes from the money that would have to change hands in the deal, since Papelbon’s money owed is a bit of a question mark:
It’s difficult enough for teams to agree upon how much money should be in a trade. It’s even more difficult when they don’t know how much the player is owed. So, as much the Phillies need to trade Papelbon, the whole thing is easier said than done …
But why would the Phillies pay, say, an unnecessary $6 million on the vesting option when a more attractive financial and prospect package might become available in July?
Rosenthal adds that the Phillies could give some closing opportunities to Ken Giles early in the season, making it harder for Papelbon to reach the 48 games finished mark that activates his option. Then, knowing whatever team gets him wouldn’t have to worry about paying him a ridiculous option, Papelbon all of a sudden becomes more tradable. Of course, Papelbon would probably light the clubhouse on fire if the Phils tried to pull those shenanigans. Either way, he’s not very appealing at the moment.