Never say never, right?
While it seems unlikely that Jonathan Papelbon ever will return to the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies closer isn’t closing the book on a potential reunion.
“Of course, yeah,” Papelbon recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford when asked if he’d welcome a return to the Red Sox. “Of course I would. But you know that’s a lot easier said than done.”
Papelbon is correct. The 34-year-old is under contract with the Phillies for $13 million in 2015, and his deal includes a $13 million option for 2016 that will vest with 55 games finished this season or 100 games finished between 2014 and 2015. Papelbon finished 52 games last season.
The Red Sox also have a lights-out closer in Koji Uehara under contract for the next two seasons. A return certainly is “easier said than done.”
But it’s still interesting to hear that Papelbon, who spent seven seasons in Boston from 2005 through 2011, is open to returning to where it all started. Papelbon, a five-time All-Star, has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the last two years, and this offseason was no exception.
“Yeah, I’m pretty satisfied,” Papelbon told Bradford of how things have worked out since signing with Philadelphia before the 2012 season. “You can’t sit here and map out your career. There are going to be things that come up along the way. If it was up to me, I would have loved to stay in Boston my whole career and it would have all been great. I don’t know how I would have done in the (Bobby) Valentine era, but … You know me, I kind of fly by the seat of my pants. I go out there and love to compete no matter where I’m at.”
Papelbon also told Bradford his sights are set on the Hall of Fame, so the right-hander evidently feels like he has plenty of baseball left.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images