The Jonathan Papelbon ship is extremely close to sailing.
The Red Sox have expressed interest in signing the reliever since the Washington Nationals released him on Aug. 13, but it seems unlikely that he’ll come to Boston at this point. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show” that Papelbon’s time away from the mound is making the situation of bringing him in less feasible.
“We had interest in him, and we expressed that to him,” Dombrowski said, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “(Red Sox manager) John Farrell spoke with Jonathan Papelbon, and I think a couple of our players spoke to him, too. For his own personal reasons, he’s just decided so far not to sign. I’m not sure if he’s going to sign or not. I know he has a lot of strong feelings about Boston if he decides to sign. It’s just more of a situation where his agent says he’s not ready to make a decision.
“And now it becomes complicated because he hasn’t thrown in a game since Aug. 6. So you’re in a position where you just can’t thrust him out there. I don’t know what he’s been doing as far as throwing is concerned. I would doubt that he’s been throwing a lot. So you would have to go back out there and build up his arm strength and be in a position to face some hitters. It’s not just inserting him like it would be if you signed him right off the bat.”
The deadline for postseason eligibility also is Sept. 1, so if Papelbon were to sign anywhere after Thursday, he wouldn’t serve much of a purpose in the long run. Dombrowski said Papelbon’s representatives likely know that, so at this point, it’s up to the reliever what happens.
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