Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 3 Days

Jonathan Papelbon tossed a perfect ninth inning Thursday against the Braves for his fourth save of the season.

Papelbon, who showed some more oomph on his fastball, notched two strikeouts in the frame. He now has five straight scoreless appearances.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 6 Days

Jonathan Papelbon tossed a perfect ninth inning to nail down his third save of the season in Sunday's win over the Marlins.

He got a groundout, a flyout and another groundout to seal the victory. Papelbon was knocked around in his second appearance of the season when he blew a save versus the Rangers, but he's been nearly perfect in his other five appearances. Still, his stuff simply isn't what it once was and fantasy owners should expect some ups and downs.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 8 Days

Jonathan Papelbon recorded his second save of the season with a perfect ninth inning Friday against the Marlins.

He struck out one batter in the frame. Papelbon seemed to have a bit more giddy-up on his fastball during the brief outing, which is an encouraging sign. Still, his days as a top-tier fantasy closer appear to be long gone.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 17 Days

Jonathan Papelbon blew the save in his first appearance of 2014, forking over a two-run lead as the Rangers walked-off 4-3 winners on Wednesday.

The Rangers walked off for the second day in a row when Shin-Soo Choo drew a walk with the bases loaded. Papelbon, whose velocity was a big concern last season, was sitting at 90-92 MPH with his fastball, several MPH below where he used to be just two years ago. In the inning, Papelbon allowed three runs on four hits and two walks. The 33-year-old seems like he is on the downward slope of his career.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 1 Month

Jonathan Papelbon gave up a couple of more runs against the Pirates on Sunday.

Papelbon allowed three hits, but it was two other pitchers that got the most attention: he drilled Starling Marte and just missed Andrew McCutchen with another offering. It's hard to imagine either was intentional, but Papelbon isn't making any new friends. He's allowed seven runs -- two earned -- in four innings this spring.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 1 Month

Jonathan Papelbon was charged with five unearned runs after a Maikel Franco error in the seventh inning Monday.

At least he struck out the side. Of course, he gave up four hits and walked a batter along the way. Papelbon often struggles some in spring training, so his getting knocked around today didn't come as a surprise. Still, he is in decline and he represents a poor value as a fantasy closer this year.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 4 Months

Jonathan Papelbon said "there's a little bit of truth to every rumor" when asked about reports that the Phillies are shopping him.

"I don't know," Papelbon responded when asked whether he believed the reports about his availability. "It's hard to say. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." The closer is owed $26 million over the next two seasons and could be due $39 million over three seasons if he reaches an attainable vesting option for 2016. Paps posted a 2.92 ERA that statheads (due to poor peripherals) and scouts (due to diminished stuff) alike called lucky. Philadelphia will be fortunate to find a taker.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 4 Months

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies are willing to assume some of Jonathan Papelbon's salary in a trade.

They're also going to have to be willing to accept very little in return for Papelbon if they want to get something done. The fiery closer is owed $26 million over the next two seasons and could be due $39 over three seasons if he reaches an attainable vesting option for 2016. Though Papelbon posted a 2.92 ERA last year, Gelb says it was a "mirage," his "luck was sky high" and scouts filed "brutal reports" on the reliever. The Orioles are one club known to have interest in Papelbon.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 4 Months

Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports that the Orioles and Phillies have discussed potential trades involving closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Kubatko is quick to note however that a deal isn't imminent and that the Phillies would have to eat a large portion of the $39 million that Papelbon has remaining on his contract over the next three seasons. If the two sides are able to strike a deal, Papelbon also has a limited no-trade clause and may need to approve a trade. The O's are scouring the market after they backed out of their deal with Grant Balfour on Friday.

Jonathan Papelbon RP PHI 4 Months

ESPN's Buster Olney has been told by teams that have talked to the Phillies that they're "extremely motivated" to trade Jonathan Papelbon.

The problem, of course, is that Papelbon isn't as good as he used to be and will be owed $39 million over the next three seasons if his 2016 option vests. There have also been reports that Papelbon has clashed with his teammates in Philly, and with his no-trade clause he's only able to be dealt to 12 approved teams. If the Phillies are able to trade him, it would have to be a straight salary dump and even then they still might have to eat some money.