A couple updates to the Jonathan Papelbon storyline, as the 35-year-old reliever is now a free agent and there is a plausible fit with the Cubs.

First, Rob Bradford reports (and Jerry Crasnick reports) that Papelbon’s decision on his next team is expected within the next 24 hours (set your watch!). There is “strong interest” from multiple clubs, and Crasnick does note the speculation out there involving the Cubs and Red Sox. Otherwise, there’s no indication which teams are actually involved at this point. The Cubs, it would seem, are far from the only team that could look to bolster its bullpen with a flyer, so let’s not start assuming this is solely a Cubs thing.





To that end, Joe Maddon just told reporters that, if there’s something cooking with Papelbon, he’s not heard about it:

To be sure, none of that rules out the possibility that the Cubs are considering Papelbon, but it’s a fair bet that the front office would check in with Maddon before actually inking a deal. It’s possible that check-in is still forthcoming, or it’s possible that some particularities about a prospective deal for Papelbon would make it unnecessary for the front office to talk to Maddon.



Or, of course, there’s also the simple possibility that the front office is not considering adding Papelbon at this time.

Either way, sounds like we should find out soon enough.






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