Phillies Trade Papelbon for Pivetta

The Phillies just traded arguably the best reliever in their history for a AA pitcher, in what is another good solid deal for the Phillies.  The reliever is Jonathan Papelbon and right now we don’t know how much they are paying of his contract going forward but indication doesn’t seem to be much if any past this year.  In return they get 6’5″ 22 year old RHP Nick Pivetta.  Pivetta throws in the 90-94 range and has touched 96.  Some evaluators think that the curveball could get to plus and he does have some feel for a changeup.  He has struggled in 3 AA starts but will likely go to join the Reading rotation.  Overall Pivetta is a bit raw for a AA arm, but there is enough stuff and command for a backend (#4) starter.  If the Phillies can get some consistency out of his curveball and changeup there is a bit more ceiling than that.

He slots in at #10 on the Top 30 that will be out next week and is a solid return for a guy the Phillies didn’t need anymore.  Ken Giles now takes over the mantle of being the closer on the worst team in baseball.  The Phillies have continued their trend of filling the high minors with arms from trade while the rest of the system catches up.  With the general rate of attrition this a good strategy for the future.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. dlhunter

    I’m kicking myself now for my harshness towards Rube. Dating back to last year, his deals have been careful and hard to beat up on. But I still feel like he isn’t the guy to lead the next phase of this franchise. Matt am I wrong?

    • Matt Winkelman

      You can like his moves and find him to have been a capable GM in recent years without wanting him to stay. This is where I am. I find the lol Amaro responses to be lazy analysis and unfair. But I would prefer a more open minded GM

  2. philabaltfan

    Matt, how does Austin Voth(other Nationals pitcher mentioned in the trade rumours) matchup against Nick Pavetta in your opinion? I am happy with the return for Papelbon who did a great job on the mound for the Phillies-just curious.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Pivetta is slightly better than Voth to me

    • From what I read on both pitchers, they seem to have similar ultimate upsides. However, there may be a little more in the tank from Pivetta in terms of stuff and pitchability. To me this means a few things, he’ll be better at Voth at what they do (perhaps in a different tier all together though not likely) if they both were to reach ultimate upsides, and there is a better chance he gets there in general. Which leads us (the Phillies) to having a slightly more intriguing prospect on their hands despite what the numbers say at AA for each guy right now. Just my view on it.

      Feel free to weigh in Matt

  3. Romus

    Ruben says ‘most of their scouts seem to say he is a mid-to- back end of the rotation guy’……I find that quite an amazing and candid response from Ruben .In the past he was not so definitive on scouting projections from their board
    He seems to realize now ….say whatever he feels…must assume GM days are coming close to an end…..Sr VP duties await I guess

  4. Romus

    Some rated Pivetta as the 5th best pitcher in Nats farm system….Giolito, Cole, Ross and Lopez ahead of him.

  5. joe2

    Keep in mind that with all the wheeling and dealing RAJ did last year (Eflin, Windle, Lively and J Rod) they have been IMO okay(Eflin and Lively) to disappointing(Windle and JRod).

    • BobSmith80

      Lively has been so-so and his numbers overall at AA including last year are pretty mediocre. They have certainly added more pitching depth but maybe 1 on them of sticks as an effective MLB starter including Pivetta.

      • Romus

        Lively numbers last year at Bakersfield in the hitter-friendly CAL League were outstanding. His AA numbers at Pensacola were not as good as A+, but still better then average.

  6. tim

    Phillies should keep adding pitching and outfield help. I hope we can land Groome next draft. The new scouting sure likes the big boys I think it’s a good return for pap. I think all moves are made by Gillick as far as the trade go .

  7. Ben

    Tim, that’s fine but since you have no actual basis for saying or thinking that, I assume you also blame David Montgomery for everything that happened between 2008 and last year, including Howard’s contract, Papebon’s signing, the Pence trades, etc. You can’t pick and choose what you hate Amaro for and believe he is only responsible for the bad moves while someone else is always responsible for the good ones.

    • tim

      No I blame Giles , Monty, Amaro and whoever agree to those contacts . Amaro bought talent Gillick has an I for Talent , plus he’s now president so everything goes though him.