Jonathan Papelbon stumps for trade; Phillies 'know where my heart is'

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is stumping for a trade to a contender -- again.

The 34-year-old Papelbon was named Monday to the NL All-Star team for the sixth time in his career, but his focus was more on the July 31 trade deadline.

"I would be surprised [if I wasn't traded]," Papelbon told reporters Monday. "Yeah, that would be a pretty valid answer. ... I don't make these decisions. The front office knows where my heart is and where my mind is. And that's to be with a contending ballclub. The ball is in their court, so to speak."

Papelbon, who has 14 saves and a 1.65 ERA with 34 strikeouts for the last-place Phillies, also said he'd be disappointed if he wasn't traded to a contender.

"I'm going to whoever wants me the most and whoever feels like I can help them the best," said Papelbon, who needs to appear in just 20 more games this season to activate his player option for 2016 that is worth $13 million.

"I think everybody knows where I'm at. I've always been straightforward that I want to go play for a contender, and I'm not going to shy away from it. I feel like that's my right and my prerogative to have that opportunity and, you know, it's in their hands. The ball's in their court. I guess that's kind of it."

Papelbon, who has 339 career saves and won a World Series ring during his seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, has a limited no-trade clause that includes 17 teams to which he could veto a deal.

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