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Source: Jonathan Papelbon won’t sign by midnight, eliminating postseason eligibility with Red Sox

08.31.16 at 12:39 pm ET

Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon

The likelihood of Jonathan Papelbon joining the Red Sox, or really any other team, now seems nonexistent.

According to a major league source, Papelbon won’t be signing with anybody prior to midnight, meaning the reliever wouldn’t be eligible for postseason eligibility if he were to pitch again in 2016.

A player has to be within the organization prior to Sept. 1 in order to be an option for the playoffs.

The 35-year-old reliever had drawn heavy interest from the Red Sox, with manager John Farrell and some players reaching out to Papelbon. But with the combination of not being an option for the postseason, and having not thrown since Aug. 6, he doesn’t figure to be a solution for the club’s eighth-inning relief issues.

When appearing on the Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show Monday, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski elaborated on the Papelbon situation.
“We had interest in him, and we expressed that to him,” Dombrowski said. “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.”

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