Kansas City sent LHP Sean Manaea and RHP Aaron Brooks to Oakland for Ben Zobrist and cash, reportedly more than $2 million.
Sean Manaea has a big arm and started the season as the second best prospect in the Royals system. The hard throwing lefty projects as at least a No. 3 starter in a big league rotation. Aaron Brooks is a useful arm, likely a solid reliever in the majors, that the A’s view as underrated.
The Royals paid a rather steep price in Sean Manaea for Ben Zobrist, who will hit free agency at the end of the season. Zobrist fits a need for Kansas City and is expected to play left field with Alex Gordon on the DL. Once Gordon returns, Zobrist can replace the struggling Omar Infante at second base.
In 67 games this season, Zobrist has put together a .268/.354/.447 line with 20 doubles, two triples and six home runs for a .801 OPS.
Updated 5:20pm CDT – According to multiple reports, the Nationals acquired RHP Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies for minor league RHP Nick Pivetta, who was the Nationals No. 10 prospect according to Baseball America prior to the season. Pivetta projects as a backend of the rotation starter (No. 4 or No. 5).
Ken Rosenthal reported Papelbon has restructured his contract. The details are still coming in. In order for his to waive his no-trade rights, the Nationals have guaranteed Papelbon he will be the team’s closer.
Updated 11:36pm CDT – Jonathan Papelbon restructured his contract before the trade was finalized with the Nationals. Papelbon waived his no-trade rights and his option for the 2016 season. Instead of $13 million next year, Papelbon agreed on an $11 million salary. The Nationals will pay Papelbon $8 million in 2016 and $3 million in 2017. The Phillies sent $4.5 million to the Nationals in the deal.
According to multiple reports, the Nationals are closing in a deal to acquire RHP Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies. The Nationals tried to land RHP Tyler Clippard before he was dealt to the Mets.
Mike Rizzo would like to upgrade the backend of his bullpen. And he has called a team within his own division. The Phillies are looking to move Papelbon and will make a trade with any club if they receive their asking price.
According to Todd Zolecki, either Papelbon or his agent is talking to the Nationals about resolving issues that are holding up the deal. Zolecki reported Papelbon’s no-trade rights, his role with the team (closer/set-up) and the $13 million option for the 2016 season has to be worked out before Papelbon is finally out of Philadelphia.
Papelbon has stated publicly he will not approve a trade unless he is guaranteed he will be the team’s closer.
The Cubs are believed to still be talking to the Phillies about Jonathan Papelbon. Based on the reports, the Cubs are likely on the outside looking in at this point.