Report: Chances of team signing Jonathan Papelbon ‘non-existent’
Despite the flurry of conjecture surmising where Jonathan Papelbon might land after he was granted his release by the Washington Nationals on Aug. 13, it appears all the speculation was much ado about nothing.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports the Boston Red Sox won’t take a flier on their former closer, it also appears no other major league team is inclined to do so, either. Bradford writes that the chances of Papelbon catching on with any team currently stands as “non-existent.”
Lending credence to the report is how Papelbon would have to sign with a team before midnight Thursday, Aug. 1 to be postseason-eligible. It seems unlikely any contending team would sign Papelbon without at least the option of having him on their playoff roster.
The notion that Papelbon could contribute to a team’s postseason push in September — much less earn himself a slot in the bullpen come October — also remains a long shot at best.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski indicated Monday that the organization has had discussions with Papelbon but said Papelbon was “not ready to make a decision.” Dombrowski also expressed concern over how Papelbon hasn’t pitched since Aug. 6, meaning it would take some time to get his arm worked back up into shape.
The Chicago Cubs were another team who arguably could have benefited by bringing in Papelbon, but any potential interest in the reliever was rebuffed weeks ago by Joe Maddon.
There was a reason, obviously, why a contending team like the Nationals felt comfortable cutting him loose in the first place. And while Papelbon can be a tremendous headache in the clubhouse — of course — it was his performance on the mound that prompted his release for the most part.
Papelbon, 35, struggled mightily this season with the Nats. In 35 innings of work, he posted a 2-4 record and a 4.37 ERA while notching 19 saves. Papelbon did, however, blow three saves as well to go along with a 1.46 WHIP in 37 appearances.
In other words, Papelbon likely will find himself looking for a job in the offseason.