Trade roundup: Nationals get closer Papelbon
Miami — The Nationals have a new closer, landing All-Star Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies on Tuesday.
Papelbon is Philadelphia’s career saves leader with 123 and is 17-for-17 in save chances this season. Papelbon also is Boston’s saves leader with 219.
The right-hander, 34, had said he wouldn’t accept a trade unless he would remain a closer, and agreed to waive his no-trade clause after getting the assurances he needed from Washington. Drew Storen, 29-for-31 in save chances this season, shifts to primarily a setup role.
“Papelbon is our ninth-inning pitcher,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Drew will pitch the ninth inning at times when Papelbon is unavailable and be our setup guy in the eighth inning as we are constructed.
“Paps hasn’t pitched too many three-days-in-a-row stints. We’re going to be careful with him and we feel that we’ve got two terrific, elite ninth-inning guys who can close out games in pressure situations.”
As part of the trade, Papelbon’s $13 million option for 2016 becomes a guaranteed $11 million salary. Some of that money will be deferred, Rizzo said, adding the Nationals weren’t worried about bringing Papelbon into their clubhouse mix.
“This guy wants to win,” Rizzo said. “First and foremost, he wants to win. He’s a winner. He’s won his whole career. He excels in pressure situations and that’s his personality. Does it grate on the opposition at times? Yes, it does, but he comes with high credentials, high praise from his teammates and guys who have been around him.”
The Phillies will receive Double A right-hander Nick Pivetta for Papelbon.
The Nationals also designated catcher Dan Butler for assignment.
Rizzo said he met with Storen while the deal was being put together, and that he took the news well.
“(Stroen) took it like a pro,” Rizzo said.
The Phillies, however, might not be done dealing.
Cole Hamels will miss Thursday’s scheduled start and is now slated to pitch Friday, after the 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Hamels, who remains the subject of several trade rumors, is scheduled to face the Braves on Friday night.
Royals deal again
The Royals acquired utilityman Ben Zobrist and cash from the A’s for right-hander Aaron Brooks and minor league left-hander Sean Manaea.
Zobrist, 34, an infielder and outfielder, Hit .268 with six home runs, 20 doubles, two triples and 33 RBIs in 67 games for the A’s, who are in last place in the American League West after three straight playoff seasons.
Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore already dealt for former Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto while sending three left-handers to the Reds.
“Well, listen, they’ve got a very good team already, one that is in first place for a reason,” A’s general manager Billy Beane said. “In anybody’s opinion, they certainly got a lot better with these two acquisitions. …
“ They’re adding to a very good team and I assume they’re going to be pretty formidable from this point forward.”
Zobrist missed a month following arthroscopic left knee surgery in late April for a torn meniscus.
Beane pulled off his second trade in 24 hours and third in six days.
The A’s dealt closer Tyler Clippard to the Mets on Monday night after trading left-handed starter Scott Kazmir to his hometown Astros last Thursday.
Brooks had a 6.23 ERA over two appearances for the Royals and 41/3 innings. He has mostly pitched at Triple A Omaha, going 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 18 games and 17 starts.
Beane envisions him joining the A’s soon to help fill voids because of injuries.
Manaea, a top prospect, has pitched in rookie ball, Class A and Double A this season.
GM: Tulo improves Jays
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said acquiring five-time All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies late Monday night was “the rare chance that one of the best at his position was available.”
“We’re getting the best shortstop in baseball in our minds,” Anthopoulos said. “We’re just thrilled.”
The Blue Jays also picked up reliever LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies and sent shortstop Jose Reyes and minor league right-handed pitchers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco. to Colorado.
“Getting better doesn’t have to mean a reliever or a starter,” Anthopoulos said. “When you have a chance to get the best player at a respective position, it’s a rare opportunity and we wanted to take advantage of it.”
Angels add outfielders
The Angels acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Rays for minor league pitcher Eduar Lopez and outfielder David Murphy from the Indians for minor league shortstop Eric Stamets.