Phillies all-time saves leader Jonathan Papelbon still looking for a team
Not much as gone right for Jonathan Papelbon since signing with the Phillies. While he was a dominant pitcher for most of his career in Philadelphia, he’s fallen off the tracks.
Known for being a distraction in the locker room, Papelbon has yet to find a team heading towards the deadline for post-season eligibility. If Papelbon is not within a major league organization by September 1, he can not play in the playoffs.
At 35-years-old, Jonathan Papelbon isn’t the same pitcher who won Boston a World Series or broke Phillies records. Ruben Amaro Jr. traded Papelbon to the Washington Nationals at the perfect time last season, and got a decent prospect in Nick Pevetta.
In someways this is Papelbon’s fault he can not find a team. He demanded his release from the Nationals after they acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of the season. Papelbon could still be in Washington gearing up for a post-season run in a set-up role.
He had a 4.37 ERA in Washington this season, and blew three saves prior to being cut.
At his age with his baggage, it will be hard for Papelbon to latch onto a team going into next season. He has too much pride to sign a minor-league deal or be anon-roster invitee in spring training.
While it may be tough, Papelbon has to realize he’s not who he once was, and that his career is coming to a close.