BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox are not banking on Jonathan Papelbon shipping up to Boston.
The free agent reliever remains in baseball limbo after being released by the Washington Nationals earlier this month. According to a report, when Papelbon does finally pick a new team, it likely won’t be the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato reported Sunday that with each passing day, the Red Sox believe a reunion with Papelbon becomes less and less likely. Papelbon was expected to pick a new team last week, with the Red Sox and NL-leading Chicago Cubs the favorites.
Even if Papelbon does decide to return to the team where it all started, he’ll likely need a week in the minors before doing anything with the major league team. As Mastrodonato notes, Boston has other options in their farm system to help their bullpen.
Heath Hembree has been strong since his promotion from Triple A, allowing just one hit in his 2.1 innings of work. There are also other in-house options available in Joe Kelly and starter Brian Johnson, who are both pitching well for Pawtucket.
So if you wanted to see Jonathan Papelbon return to Boston, don’t hold your breath.