Jonathan Papelbon is currently available after getting released by the Washington Nationals. According to the latest MLB rumors, the Chicago Cubs could end up signing Papelbon to bolster their bullpen heading into the final month of the regular season.
On August 13, Papelbon handed his request to be released from the Nationals and the team granted it on the same day. The move ended his tenure in the capital but it was good for both sides since the veteran reliever wants to have a better role, per Bleacher Report.
Following his release, MLB rumors started to circulate that the Chicago Cubs, as well as the Boston Red Sox, is interested in signing him for the rest of the season. The Cubs currently have the best record in baseball and they could use another bullpen arm.
Papelbon, who currently is ninth in all-time saves, has been struggling this season but he has the playoff experience to help a contender. He has ties with the Cubs, including general manager Theo Epstein and starter Jon Lester, who both were formerly employed by the Red Sox.
MLB rumors in Chicago points out that the Cubs might be interested but manager Joe Maddon thinks nothing is going to happen at the moment. However, he noted that it might still happen depending on Epstein and the front office.
“The guys have not discussed him with me. I’ve not heard a whole lot of scuttlebutt about the clubhouse yet, either. I’m not saying it can’t happen – don’t get me wrong – but for right now, there is nothing happening,” Maddon said, via CSN Chicago.
The Cubs currently have a great bullpen duo of Aroldis Chapman and Hector Rondon to close out games. They need to remember what Papelbon did to the Nationals chemistry last season, leading to a choking incident with Bryce Harper. Nevertheless, these are just MLB rumors at the moment and Papelbon remains a free agent.
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