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MLB Rumors: Analyzing Trade Whispers as Pitchers and Catchers Report

what is pitchers and catchers report

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Spring is almost in the air. Pitchers and catchers are teasing the 2015 MLB season by reporting for camp, but clubs are not done probing the trade market for last-second alterations.

This late in the game, nobody should expect any blockbuster deals before Opening Day. Teams are more concerned with tying up loose ends, usually by dealing spare parts or filling small holes.

One prominent name still dangles as a sensible trade candidate, giving some gravitas to the hot stove. After him, fringe players pepper the rumor mill at the start of spring training.

Jonathan Papelbon

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The Jonathan Papelbon saga continues. A terrible team plus a high-priced relief pitcher usually equals a move, which is why the Philadelphia Phillies are expecting to exchange him this season.

According to The Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo. a transaction remains possible despite negotiations stalling with the Milwaukee Brewers.

"The Phillies feel there’s

still an opportunity to deal Papelbon, even though the Brewers scenario hasn’t unfolded as they thought," Cafardo wrote. "The Phillies want the Brewers to take care of the option year but still want a top prospect in return. But there may be a mystery team out there kicking the tires."

Papelbon will earn $13 million this season, per Cot's Baseball Contracts. but the vesting option Cafardo alluded to has complicated trade talks. The closer is well on his way to activating another $13 million payday for 2016 if he finishes 45 games this year.

With Kenley Jansen out eight to 12 weeks after undergoing foot surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers could jump into the fray. They were linked to Papelbon last July with Jansen healthy, but new management acquired Joel Peralta and Chris Hatcher during the offseason.

It's possible they're the mystery team, but Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are too smart to overpay for a brand-name closer.

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