Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies (RP)
Despite the great start, one area of recent concern is the Red Sox’ bullpen. The bullpen originally considered one of the best in the league has fallen on hard times with one closer, free-agent signing Joel Hanrahan, out for the year after Tommy John surgery, and another, Andrew Bailey, suffering three blown saves in his last five chances before being removed as closer.
So the name that keeps coming back up in trade talks is former Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who left Boston after 2011 as a free agent. The Red Sox have been named as one of three teams that have inquired about his services, according to the Globe's Nick Cafardo. Papelbon hit a bit of a rough stretch, blowing saves in four of five chances in late June. However he did not blow his first save until June 17.
Papelbon’s price tag may be an issue because he is owed more than $13 million for this season, but unlike other teams, the Red Sox may shy away from him due to off the field reasons rather than his performance on the mound, namely the negative fashion he left Boston and repeated claims that his Red Sox career is long behind him. The speculation will continue to swirl, though, as at this point he remains the best possible relief option for any team looking to bolster its bullpen for the stretch run.