Papelbon traded to the Nationals for P Nick Pivetta

While the details are still filtering in, it has been confirmed that the Phillies have traded closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals in exchange for Nick Pivetta, a RHP currently playing for Harrisburg(AA).

Pivetta, 22, is a 6’5, 220 pound 4th round pick of the Nationals and is a combined 7-6 with a 3.02ERA for Potomac(A+) and Harrisburg this year. In 101.1IP, he has walked 38 and struck out 78, to go along with a WHIP of 1.25.  Coming into this season, Pivetta was the #10 prospect, and #5 pitcher in the Nationals organization.  Pivetta reportedly throws a mid 90’s fastball, a plus curveball and a changeup that is developing into a plus pitch as well.  The likely upside for Pivetta is as a #3-4 starter.  Look for Pivetta to join the Reading rotation shortly.

Without getting too much into Papelbon, and was a very effective player who was a cancer to the organization.  I am hoping to see Adam Loewen get a shot to take Papelbon’s roster spot, as he has been tremendous over the last two months for Lehigh Valley.

107 thoughts on “Papelbon traded to the Nationals for P Nick Pivetta

  1. The Phillies are already carrying 8 relievers since they won’t need a 5th starter until later in the week. So they could just subtract Papelbon and they’re good in the bullpen. Else, they could call up Ogando (who’s already on the 40 man) and have him up for a few days and then send him back down later.

  2. This is good. First, moving Paps and his attitude can only help a young clubhouse. Second, Giles will benefit from the experience to close and he can start to become a leader in the bullpen. Third, it opens up a roster spot for another pitcher and I also hope Loewen gets a look. Fourth, it will shed some payroll that can be used elsewhere next year. And fifth, the Phils get a legitimate prospect with upside to be a top of the rotation starter if all works well, or even a big arm out of the bullpen in the late innings. Has a big arm with some additional projection – probably the highest upside of all the Phils starters in AA and AAA.

    Good, solid move. What’s next?

    1. Are the Phillies apparently not having to kick in any money? Sounds like it, that’s not too bad I think

    2. Papelbon was, by all accounts, well-liked in the clubhouse, especially by the other guys in the bullpen. And I don’t really see Pivetta with top of the rotation ceiling; more like back-end. Or maybe #3 if both his secondary pitches progress along with his command. I think Eflin has more upside.

      Anyway, I think this is a solid move. We don’t know what kicking in some extra cash could have gotten them, but we did improve our SP depth at least.

      1. I agree with all of that. Not sure how u could view him as top of the rotation potential when it comes to stuff or control, or the fact that the #5 ranked pitcher and #10 ranked player in an organization typically aren’t even close to top of the rotation guys either.

        Also not sure why all the Papelbon hate. Fans hate when players give meaningless cookie cutter answers, this guy says what he thinks and people still hate it. Meanwhile by all accounts he was a very good teammate and well liked by other players.

  3. Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead. The Papelbon signing was the dumbest thing the Phillies did during this era. The whole planet knew he was a jackass and anyone with any sense knew that contract was a waste of resources on an over-rated position (closer). Plus they blew a 1st round pick in order to sign that jerk.

    1. A first round pick they wouldn’t have had to give up had they just waited like a week.

      1. This is my biggest pet peeve in the RAJ era along with the Oswalt trade ( about one full year of service). They got less mention than a lot of the bad moves.

      2. Yes,this was classic RAJ bidding against himself — he actually worried that another team would pay more /yrs. if he didn’t swoop in and instantly sign Paps. That’s been the Phillies biggest problem — faulty, skewed valuation: over-value closers and relievers, over-value mid-30s vets in the post-PEDS era, under-value minor leaguers, under-value amateurs in draft and international, which led to under-valuing problem of losing draft picks to sign FA relievers,

    2. not to defend the Phillies- but overpaying for an effective closer wasnt the dumbest thing they did in this era- if they had paid him 8 million per year the last 4 years instead of 13, would it have made a difference?
      if they had signed Madson to the long term deal as had been initially, that would have been really dumb- and they did get 2 draft picks from losing Madson.
      by the way, the Red Sox picked Brian Johnson with the Phils pick- believe he made his debut recently; with the 2 madson picks the Phils drafted Shane Watson (next pick was Lance MuCullers, and Dylan Cozens.

      1. It was a ridiculous move for a team that imposed their own salary cap on themselves while in position to compete for championships. At the time of his signing, he put the Phillies right up to the luxury tax and they would spend no more. You don’t use 13 million on a Closer and you certainly don’t use 8% of your salary cap on a Closer. You spend that money on a Bat.

        The industry had just figured out that the Closer position was overvalued, and the Phillies went out there and gave the largest Closer contract in history to a cancerous jerk, whos velocity was going down even then. And again, the cherry on top was they lost that years 1st round pick too. It was a stupid move, pure and simple, and most everybody who follows the game knew it at the time.

      1. No, he wasn’t. I’m not saying he didn’t do a good job as closer, but a closer simply isn’t worth that much.

        1. You need to understand that free agent contracts are for the player, not the team. You consider yourself lucky to get back enough WAR to cover FA contracts. In that respect, the Phillies got back enough WAR to cover Papelbon’s contract, no more, no less.

    1. I’m happy with the deal. I think we got a guy with a decent chance to be a #4 MLB starter by the start of 2018, possibly sooner.

  4. Despite his troubles, Papelbon earned his $ with the Phils in my opinion. Ruben & Co offered him the deal, he didn’t type the paperwork they did. Had their been a better plan in place organizationally, Papelbon wouldn’t have had the opportunity to show his demons being surrounded by better baseball players. Think back to the Mesa or Heathcliff Slocumb days…yeah I’ll take a Papelbon ten fold.
    Also, I think you see Pivetta eventually slide into a late inning power reliever role by the time the big clubs ready to contend again.

  5. It is hard to believe that no $ is changing hands, even if Pap is taking $2Million less. Do they then pay more $ in a Hamels deal to get the better prospects?

  6. I think Papelbon has gotten a bad rap here in philly.Sure,some things were said that he should’ve worded different,but he was a very good and reliable closer.
    In the past few years (Detroit comes to mind) and some other teams that had bullpen issues,who knows if they would’ve traded for him,maybe they would’ve gotten further in the playoffs or even won a championship.

    1. I guess you missed the part where he gave the fans a treat by fixing himself as he left the field.

      1. How thin skinned can fans be? I could not care less if Paps “adjusts himself at me” so long as he performs. This is the typical fan angst resulting from the cinfluence of team decline and a big contract. Why do fans even care how much Paps made? It was not his fault the team was dropped in the hopper. As said above, the $3-$5 million over pay per year hardly mattered. The failure to produce support from the farm is what doomed this club.

        1. Nor do I. I don’t care too much that he did it, although I would’ve booed louder. Or yelled some…choice words. My main issue is that he did it with young kids there. They don’t need to see a grown man grabbing his junk in front of thousands of people, nor should their parents (depending on the kids age) have to explain what he did.

          Some of the fans hated him because of his comments; the man wasn’t wrong about the team. Why does it make a difference if one of the players says it? Others hated him for the crotch grab. It wasn’t the worst thing he could have done, although there was no need for him to do it.

        2. Reports were that Pap’s contract was an issue for GM’s( Rosenthal for one mentioned this) but also his antics like grabbing his junk as if to say to the fans “..here’s what a think about you.” Last time I looked I thought MLB and Phillies were marketing the game as family friendly.

          Did he do his job? Yes.
          Did he live up to his contract? Yes.
          Was he a PR disaster? Yes.

          As for Nick Pivetta, I am taking a wait and see attitude. Positives are his 22yrs old and can get hit 96 (seems to have swing and miss stuff). After seeing what we got last Winter, I think we did okay with Eflin & Lively and a little disappointed in Windle and Joely Rod. So my not getting my hopes up. That said he was probably as good as we could expect under the circumstances.

  7. There seems to be some difference of opinion on Pivetta. Jim Bowden stated on esp that he is a low 90s pitcher with below average control and below average breaking ball. Others on here seem to think he is a power arm with plus breaking ball. Bowden also said the Phillies bought down the remainder in salary for this year to the minimum, meaning they obviously did kick in money.

  8. So that is what, about $4Million the Phils have to eat? That is not bad at all. The Hamels deal is the big one. I don’t think they would agree on Tuesday to move him back a day unless they were sure one of the offers is already good enough, and they are trying to see if anyone sweetens the pot.

    1. The part that makes me mad is pap going to national. Us paying some of his salary. And getting a nothing prospect. We have said to the fans forget next year too. I would rather pay him the 13 million then give him to the national my rival. I hope they don’t sell one ticket next year.

      1. Roccom what did you want for pap a BA top 10 prospects . Pivetta is a solid return he was rated 10th best prospect in the nats sys. Pap gone along with that contract Giles becomes the new closer . The Phillies won again tonight and we still Have the rest of the wk .

      2. Pivetta is certainly not a nothing prospect. He will slot into the back end of our top 10 prospects. He is the second best starting pitcher in our upper minors.

      3. Don’t understand your anger at this deal as that’s not how you rebuild. Washington’s offer had to be the best we received as we normally would not trade within the division. Give the kid a chance.

    2. 4 million for the nationals to take pap and win a world series. not a bad deal. Give your rival a good closer and pay his salary for a nothing prospect. nice deal. I Know one thing the national keep deferring money on there deals. It will have to someday catch up with them, harper will want a ton this offseason.

      1. Roccom, the Nationals may win the division but the NL East is the weakest division. The possible Wild Card teams (Pittsburgh, Cubs, Giants, Mets) are better teams now. Please relax this was a good deal for both sides.

    1. Yeah, well, you really didn’t expect much more, right? A decent AA arm with ceiling as a #3 or #4 starter. Sounds about right for Pap, everything considered.

      1. Im a Pap fan maybe i did expect more…but the more i read about Pivetta the more I like deal

        1. ben zobrist has declined much more than Papelbon and is a FA at the end of the year, but he’s a good teammate, flexible as to how utilized, and several teams were interested so the A’s were able to get a better prospect (Manea was ranked #2 for KC, now #3 for Oakland).

  9. I predict Papelbon blows three of his first six save attempts with the Nats. Maybe that’ll be another crotch grabber. Glad he’s gone.

    1. What a joke Vermont I Hope he wins the world title for Washington. Pap did nothing wrong. he came here to a team who sold him on winning. He pitch great for this team. Ruben overpaying isn’t his fault. Would you turn down more money? yeah I bet you would , now he goes to a division rival. we have put up the white flag. We get one prospect who might never see the majors. So either this was a salary dump. or we paid 4 million for a jump prospect. rather have use that 4 million on a Cuban player. Pap for all his talk. pitch great, was first guy off the bench in a walk off. and work with the kids in the bullpen. He tried privately to get out when that didn’t work he want public. Think he didn’t want to win he took less money.

      1. Now we have a Giles the closer in waiting . Pap can be replaced Hamels can’t so we’re looking for better prospects. Really can the nats bet the Cards , LA., the Gaints.

  10. Most pointless comment I’ll ever make:

    We now have the 135th & 136th picks of the 2013 draft. Lively and Pivetta. Both acquired via trade. And ranked 9th & 10th in our system, according to MLB.

      1. 134 was Tyler Wade, Yankees, currently in the FSL. 137 is Tony Kemp, with Houston in the PCL.

  11. Pivetta is a hard throwing power pitcher who needs to throw more command strikes. Needs this season and at least half of ’16 to get that done. If he does he could be a ##3.

    A good plan so far to fill the higher ranks of our farm system with guys in AA for development and a #1 and #2 pitcher in the upcoming draft in June ’16.

    And, in a day or two we should be receiving more pitching, etc. (?) in the Hamels trade. Filling out the near future rotation is under way. After the first 2 rounds of the ’16 draft, we again can concentrate on position players at 3,4,5,6 and more pitching at 7,8,9,10. (Just a large anticipation and speculation)

    Rhys Hoskins could move through AA & AAA next season. So far he has met challenges @High A Clrwtr; should that continue he’ll maybe ready to play first base in ’17. Love his power and OBA.

    Let’s see who we get fort Hamels……………………….

  12. I dont understand why people are happy with clearing salary for next year. We are going to suck next year shouldn’t sign anyone to a huge contract. We are just getting out of some terrible deals don’t rush to make more.

  13. Btw. Seriously, love the site and discussion, check it daily though it’s my first comment.

    Why I like the deal :
    –Considering how the value of closers has dipped in recent years (pretty much just as Rube signed Pap) and difficult of a contract — and at-times headache — Pap was, seems like we got a good arm for him … Best case, a decent starter, more likely some future juice/depth for the back of the pen. And glad we were willing to pat for a better prospect instead of just an org arm.

    — He went to a good team , and not some crap outpost. Why would I care, especially since he could be a pain in the rear in the media and hurt his own trade value by not knowing when to keep his feelings quiet (see: Hamels, Cole — who had just one offseason slip)?

    Because despite all that, he seemed to be a good teammate and helped show Giles/rest how to handle the pressure. And as others here said, not his fault he was offered that crazy money (same reason that while I still root against Werth, never was upset he left for the Nats’ kazillion-dollar deal).

    And other than a few gut-wrenchers 2 seasons ago, he shut the damn door even as he has lost the 95 mph heater. I def respect that.

    — Let’s not groan too soon on him staying in division with hated Nats … This has potential to invite a big distraction /division in that clubhouse, since Storen is suddenly demoted and bitter and may ask to get dealt. And hey, this year we got the best of Pap, who was not overworked with save chances with us … We got a perfect 17-for-17, so odds say he’s due to blow a few … Better with them than us, and if he does after this deal?? oooh, this could get fun for us to watch the Nats (hopefully) come apart.

    Re: the in-division thing — meh, he is only signed they next year. By the time we are contending again, he won ‘t be there anymore.

    Giles already 1-for-1, today was a good day. Hope to see Loewen in Sept. or sooner.

  14. One last post on Pap from me:

    IMO the bashers of this contract have an agenda against RAJ. This was not a “disaster”. I have no problem with this signing. While I concede that he was slightly (2-3 mil/yr) overpaid, that extra money had zero impact on the success of the team. In the mean time, we had a Hall of Fame quality closer pitch for us for 4 season at an elite level. We signed him when we had an elite team and needed a good closer. I don’t blame RAJ for a $2 mil/season overpay. He wanted a Ferrari and you have to pay up in FA for quality. We then flipped him for a legit prospect who is rated much higher than Jessie Biddle (and younger than him too).

    Of all of the issues this team has, Jon Papelbon and his contract are not one of them.

    1. He could have waited a little longer….8 days…. to sign Paps and not forfeited a number one pick AND he could have signed him for , IMO, 15/20% less AAV and still he would have been the highest paid closer in baseball…..however, he may have been been able to move him for perhaps a better prospect (s), these last two years.
      Paps’ contribution and productivity was excellent, no question.

      1. Exactly. Papelbon pitched to the value of his contract, but unnecessarily forfeiting a first round pick was, standing alone, almost a fireable offense. Add to that the fact that the contract was far above market in its dollars and its length and, well, you see the problem with Ruben Amaro – even when he sort of gets it right, he still screws up. I think, in many instances, excellence from a general manager consists, in part, of consistently obtaining slight incremental advantages that, over time, produce great aggregate value. Incompetence is reflected by the opposite – consistently suffering slight incremental disadvantages. This transaction is a perfect example of his overall incompetence.

    2. damn dude i was agreeing with so much of what you have posted today, especially in the box score thread, but this is just wrong. one week. thats how long RAJ had to wait to hold on to the first round pick. It just showed he had no idea what was going on. The contract itself was way too high but i think the forfeitting of the pick is the real bad part

      1. RAJ gets a lot of heat for some bonehead moves from ’09 thru’ 13….but I still believe Charlie was behind many of them..

        Ruben did not make any moves until discussing it with Charlie and get his blessings OR make the moves based on Charlie’s persuasiveness and suggestions.

        A majority of all the bad transactions…maybe all of them in fact…. were when Charlie was the manager and after the ’08 championship season.

        1. Again, this is still a fireable offense. If you’re taking directions from one of your employees regarding your job responsibilities then you have no business hold that position.

          Is this really a defense of RAJ – Charlie made him do it? I don’t think so. Charlie might ask for certain players or upgrades at certain positions, but making some of the bone-headed moves that followed falls at the feet of RAJ – not Charlie and painting it any other way at best is revisionist history.

        2. Romus, agree with you as people have selective memory when it comes to Charlie Manuel’s actions. Charlie did not want to manage a rebuilding team as he resigned from Cleveland for that reason. When Charlie wanted someone he eventually told the whole world like him wanting Hunter Pence in 2011 instead of giving Dominic Brown a chance. Lastly, Charlie was badly out managed in the 2009-2011 playoffs.

          1. I am so dumb. so let me get this straight. Ruben was told by Charlie he wanted pap. Ruben said if we wait a week we keep our first round choice. Charlie says no do it today. Do you people realize how stupid that is. He could have signed pap and held the contract until a week later. and then summited it to the league. if they were that worried. They not only lost the choice but also misread the market. Like now its so crazy they are begging teams to summit there best offers. Teams have told them weeks ago this is what we will do. They still are being run like a little league team.

            1. rocco…what is stupid is that Charlie just sat back and said…’ok Ruben , you are the new GM of a WS winner…do what you want and get who you want…I will juts manage whoever you get me”
              ….c’mom man….wake up….Charlie ran the show…..everyone knows it…Ruben first three yearshe was a puppet GM to the city’s hero.
              And guess what…I liked Charlie.

            2. There’s absolutely zero evidence for this ridiculous claim. And we should just leave it at that.

            3. Rick….you are clueless if you think that Charlie had no say in player transactions. Get out from under the rock.
              Further, not one of the people who were around at that time in management ever has even a slight disparaging word to say about Ruben.
              They know what went on after ’08….then there was the Charlie contract extension that became the hot issue for 6 months.

            4. I didn’t say that he didn’t have input – I said there’s ZERO evidence of your supposition, b/c that’s exactly what there is, zero.

        3. yeah but if charlie said “i want papelbon” then a gm needs to say “ill get him for you in one bloody week when it wont cost us a FA”

          1. I was trying to say the same thing danurda. Ruben puppet or not, should have know the rules on losing a draft choice plus how much the market was for pap.

            1. And lets get the facts straight here on revisionist history:
              Paps was signed — 11/11/11
              The CBA was ratified — 11/23/11

    3. Forfeiting a 1st round pick b/c you’re either too stupid or too lazy to read the CBA is a absolute travesty.

      1. you’re assumption is that he could have waited. you are basing that assumption on zero inside information. negotiations have a tendency to take a timeline of their own.

        1. So someone else was willing to forfeit a draft pick AND give Papelbon a contract who’s amount was so large it was universally panned around the industry?

          Ok.

        2. I think what you are implying is that, although you don’t know what it is, there must be a reasonable explanation for Amaro’s forfeiting a top draft pick by signing Pap a week early. No one could be so incompetent would be the argument.

          You could be right. Or not.

  15. Could someone look up the top ten closers in ALL of baseball,since Papelbon has been a Phillie and post it on here? Of interest would be the % of games saved versus the total amount of chances,not only WAR numbers.
    Thanks in advance,I know since he’s been here he seemed automatic,of course he had some blown saves.
    I’m sure if Ken Giles would have the same amount of success closing games as Papelbon has had we’ll be very fortunate.
    I may be a little old school,and may overvalue closers,but I think it has to be demorailizing for a team to have a closer that blows too many games.

  16. You can’t be mad at this deal. The Phils gotta solid prospect who has a good chance of being a middle-back end rotation guy and shed Papelbon’s salary for next year. Now they can spend more money next year and have there’s less pressure for Eflin, Pinto, etc to pan out.

  17. There’s nothing else they could have done with this $13M that would have changed the fate of the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons. It is far from the worst decision RAJ ever made, but having said that, it was from the best also – because of the timing and draft pick.

    1. Players on the board (and taken within ten picks) when the draft pick the Phils surrendered for Papelbon in the 2012 draft: Joey Gallo, Stephen Piscotty, Lance McCullers. Oh well, the Phils made up for it by selecting Watson and Gueller with their own comp picks …

      Interestingly, Gallo, Watson and McCullers went back-to-back-to-back (39, 40, 41).

  18. The past is past nothing anyone can do about it. Pap is gone Giles is now the closer we all Amaro is not a good GM.

  19. David price is getting traded. 5 teams that were in on cole are in on him. I think cole stays for now. I still believe cole will look like a better bargain in the off season. They will be paying big dollars for david price. Zimmerman, it will make cole look like a steal. price has to get 200 million easy on the open market.

    1. I guess whether trading him or not is a good idea depends on what they are offered. That said, I think it’s usually a mistake to wait to make a trade like this, especially with a starting pitcher. The trade deadline is when teams are most desperate and are likely to overpay. It’s unlikely they receive more in the winter than they would receive now. And there’s the risk that he gets injured or suffers a suddent decrease in effectiveness – with pitchers his age and older, it’s a real risk. I hope they get what they need/want and trade him now.

      1. +1

        Teams buying a pitcher in the offseason may have to spend more money, but they can (and will) rationalize it as opposed to trading for Hamels because they’ll have control years over stud prospects to offset the big contract. Now is the time to deal Cole.

        1. Only if they get what they want. It makes no sense to take ten cents on the dollar for Cole.

          The Phillies absolutely have to get a top prospect or two in return.

          Cole is not at the point where he will suddenly fall off the cliff.

          1. What gives you the impression the Phillies will take ‘ten cents on the dollar’?
            Everything reported to date, is the asking price is too high as requested by Ruben.
            I think they will get what they need.
            Cole turns 32 in December with over 2100 IP in his professional career.

        2. What they cant rationalize is signing guys to 7 year deals and getting stuck. versus a guy with a three year cheap contract. I Cant wait until this offseason, pitcher will be getting huge dollars. Washington overpaying set the market. I Like to know how they tell harper we cant pay you what we pay a pitcher,

    1. I think eventually the commissioner will authorize the trading of Rule 4 draft picks, since prospects have become more valuable then actual established veterans judging by what has transpired. A number one pick could be use as a valued trade bargaining chip.

    2. After last nights game the Rangers look like they need pitching desperately as all their offense is going to waste.

  20. “In this day and age, I think one of the most over-coveted elements of baseball are prospects,” Amaro said. “I don’t know how many prospects that have been dealt over the last several years have really come to bite people in the a**. I think what’s happened is, I think teams are really kind of overvaluing in some regards.”

    Amaro is right and he wants a prospect that works. If that happens he looks good and the Phillies come out ahead. If it does not happen it looks like almost every other trade.

    1. Teams want to get to that next level but they are hoarding prospects to the point that they are willing to take bigger risk by missing rather than going for it.

      The Dodgers may lose Grenke in a couple of months and they have the chance to grab Hamels at what will be a discount to what Grenke will cost on the free agent market.

      Why would you not do that deal?

  21. It’s weird how were not hearing trades for Francoeur , Revere, any other play not named Franco, nola, maybe it’s because they went 9 and 1 in there last 10 days.

  22. Big time names are involved in the Latos Dodgers , Braves, and Miami are all involved in the trade paper work holding it up

    1. Bet Dodgers end up with Julio Teheran, lots easier to make deals like that then to trade for 31 yr. old guy who can block 20 teams and has a big salary

  23. Just came in phillies close to trading Cole to Rangers deal maybe done by Thursday. No word on players. Per Csn cbs Texas pulled a AA pitcher Jerald be back in a few

    1. No gallo, no Mazaro, not sounding good.

      Would love to see a Price dealt to SF right now and Dodgers need to respond

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