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What's Jonathan Papelbon actually worth?

After falling out of playoff contention, the Washington Nationals' season just got worse.

The Nats suspended Jonathan Papelbon on Monday following the closer's physical assault of teammate (and MVP contender) Bryce Harper in Sunday's game against the Phillies. The team suspended Papelbon for four games. That's on top of a three-game suspension from Major League Baseball that Papelbon received for intentionally drilling Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles last week.

It's icing on the cake for a team that was the favorite to win the World Series after signing Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in the off season only to miss the postseason all together. The collective seven-game suspension means Papelbon won't play the rest of the season and he'll forfeit around $500,000 in pay, according to spotrac, a sports financial research site.

The season may be over for the Nationals, as they're nine games out of the NL East and at 80-76, they're barely holding onto a winning record. But it might offer a good time to consider who's worth what on a payroll that, at $165 million, ranks fifth in the majors.

Papelbon has not been a breakout star for the team since his acquisition from the Phillies in July. The 34-year-old closer has a 3.04 ERA over 22 appearances since moving to the Nationals and a wins-above-replacement figure of -0.1.

WAR is a statistic developed to measure the contributions of a player, compared to another average player that could take his place. Essentially, it measures the value of keeping a player in as opposed to replacing him with a freely available minor leaguer or bench player.

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So with 23.2 innings pitching for the Nationals, Papelbon has faced 99 batters. That's roughly the same ratio as his 2014 season with the Phillies when he made an average of $48,000 per batter faced.

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Harper on the other hand is in his fourth year with the Nationals and his career is still ascendant. At an average of $5,900 for each of his 634 plate appearances this year, Harper has been a steal for the Nats. And his WAR stat of 10.2 could help him join the rarified club of MVPs whose teams didn't make the playoffs.

Nationals fans tweeted offers to donate thousands to charity if Papelbon were cut from the team.

The Washington Nationals are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to payroll equality, a recent Big Crunch analysis found. Right-hander Scherzer's $30 million average yearly salary dwarfs much of the rest of the team. But the Nats have five other players with average salaries over $10 million, including Papelbon.

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