Philadelphia would probably love to rid themselves of Papelbon. The former star closer for the Boston Red Sox, who closed out the 2007 World Series, has been a bit of a malcontent with the Phillies after signing a monstrous free agent deal prior to the 2012 season.
Despite this, Papelbon is putting up the best numbers of his stint in Philly (1.17 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 22 strikeouts, 8 walks). The 33-year-old has 23 saves in 25 chances.
Papelbon might be the hot name because he is a known commodity, but perhaps a better fit for Detroit would be his teammate, Bastardo.
A lefthander, Bastardo could supplant struggling Ian Krol as a matchup lefty and could serve as a set-up and/or closer in circumstances (like tonight) where Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan are unavailable. His numbers are a little less impressive than Pap’s, but a 3.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 51/24 K/BB ratio look better than Krol’s numbers.
The Tigers appear to be one of many teams looking for relief help as we near the trade deadline. According to Jerry Crasnick, no less than 15 teams are shopping for bullpen help, though Detroit is certainly doing its due diligence:
It will remain to be seen if the Tigers have the prospects and package that teams shopping relievers desire.