• My Scores
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • Golf

Phillies scout Tigers' farm, but Papelbon deal called unlikely

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

The Tigers need a closer, but Jonathan Papelbon's contract could thwart a trade.(USATSI)
The Tigers need a closer, but Jonathan Papelbon's contract could kill a possible trade. (USATSI)

Given the way they've played the last week against the Braves and Nationals, the Phillies may not be sellers at all. But they continue to prepare in case they sell.

One sign: Phillies scouts have been spotted doing a second tour of the Tigers' farm system.

It's not hard to connect the dots and see what that could mean, with the Tigers needing a closer and with Jonathan Papelbon sitting in the Phillies bullpen.

Connecting dots doesn't always lead to a trade, and people who speak regularly with Tigers management continue to insist they won't be involved in a Papelbon trade. Money is reportedly the biggest roadblock, with Papelbon making $13 million a year through 2015 (with a vesting option for 2016).

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has never been shy about spending, but the word is the money will be more of an issue this time around.

Papelbon's contract could be an impediment to any trade, whether to the Tigers or anyone else. Papelbon's reputation doesn't help, either. He didn't leave the Red Sox on the best of terms, with more than one source suggesting they wouldn't take him back under any circumstances.

The Tigers continue to look for bullpen help, even though Joaquin Benoit has done well as their most recent closer. In six appearances since the Tigers dumped Jose Valverde for the second time, Benoit is 3 for 3 in save chances and has allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings, with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre

mlb Video

October 3, 2015
Max Scherzer dominant in no-hitter vs. Mets (1:28)
October 3, 2015
Twins eliminated: Heyman on what's ahead
October 2, 2015
Texas Rangers clinch a playoff spot
October 2, 2015
Inside Baseball with Jon Heyman: 10/2


Most Popular

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Scarlet Ohio State Buckeyes No. 15 Limited Football Jersey

College Sideline Gear
Get your favorite school
Shop Now