The Philadelphia Phillies are showing serious interest in acquiring free-agent closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Papelbon, 30, has served as the Boston Red Sox closer since 2006. Last year for Boston he posted a career-low 31 saves with a 2.94 ERA. The four-time All-Star has averaged 37 saves and a 2.33 ERA over seven professional seasons.
The Phillies are in need of a closer after news broke yesterday that the club was not optimistic about re-signing incumbent closer Ryan Madson. Madson reportedly wants a four-year $44 million contract, which is more than the Phillies are likely to agree to.
The Phillies also declined the 2012 option on former closer Brad Lidge’s contract. The move saved the club $11 million by giving Lidge a $1.5 million buyout instead of $12.5 million in salary in 2012. Due to injuries, Lidge made just 25 appearances this season and recorded only one save.