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Old 06-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #2074
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MLB trade rumors: Are the St. Louis Cardinals interested in Jonathan Papelbon?
Corey Rudd | June 17, 2013 | 0 Comments
The St. Louis Cardinals took a big blow prior to the start of the season by losing closer Jason Motte for the year. Edward Mujica, who is a perfect 19-for-19 in save opportunities, has been stellar in Motte’s absence. But are the Cardinals interested in another acquiring a high-profile closer via trade?

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the answer is maybe.

Cafardo reported on Monday that the Phillies believe there are three teams interested in acquiring the 32-year old’s services and the Cardinals are one of those teams.

Papelbon has a 1.46 ERA and 13 saves in 24 appearances for the Phililes. His 0.69 WHIP is outstanding and the former Boston Red Sox pitcher has struck out 23 hitters while walking just three.

Commentary: If the Cardinals were able to pull off a trade to acquire Papelbon without giving up any top prospects (see Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Kolten Wong, Oscar Taveras) than it would make a ton of sense to bring Papelbon in. Of course, it would take one or two of these prospects to get such a deal done.

But if the Cardinals did make an aggressive move like this, it would create a domino effect in the Cardinals bullpen.

Papelbon could take over the ninth and Mujica could move back to the seventh inning while Rosenthal could stay in the eighth, leaving the Cardinals with a very powerful back-end of the bullpen.

An addition of Papelbon would likely also allow the Cardinals to rest Rosenthal more often, who at 22-years of age is accumulating quite a workload.

This is just a rumor at this point and who knows how much merit it actually has, but the thought of Papelbon closing games for the Cardinals is enticing.

Of course, he would come at a steep price in prospects and his four-year, $50 million contract he signed prior to 2012 will be a factor as well.

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