Tha Sports Junkies 101

Nationals Release Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon Keith Allison via


Jonathan Papelbon

Washington Nationals release struggling closer Jonathan Papelbon

All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon has been granted his release from the Washington Nationals. Papelbon had asked for a release from the club and his request was granted today according to general manager Mike Rizzo.

Papelbon, who has a 4.37 ERA in 37 appearances this season is free to sign with any team but the Nationals are responsible for the $11 million left on his contract for the remainder of the season.

With a 2-4 record and 3 blown saves this season, the Nationals acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the trade deadline. Since the acquisition of Melancon, Papelbon has made only 2 appearances in non-important situations.

It’s safe to say that this release stemmed from the acquisition of Melancon and that Papelbon felt like there was not any place on the team for him anymore.

Papelbon has spent just over a year with the Nationals but has had multiple problems in that time. As soon as Papelbon joined the Nationals, the team started tanking and eventually lost the NL East by 7 games to the New York Mets. The six-time All-Star also attempted to choke Bryce Harper during the last week of the 2015 season. Papelbon was angered when Harper did not run out a fly ball during the game. Jonathan was suspended a combined 7 games by the MLB and the Nationals organization which ended his 2015 season.

Papelbon has been in the league for 12 seasons and owns a career 2.44 ERA and has 368 career saves which rank 9th all-time. He helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2007 World Series and could very well end up back with Boston this season.

When asked about the possibility of Papelbon returning to the Red Sox, manager John Ferrell had this to say:


“We haven’t had any discussions on Jonathan.” 


President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had a more positive outlook on the possibility of Papelbon rejoining the Red Sox:


“It just happened, but I would say it’s worth looking into.”


If Papelbon gets the opportunity to play for another team this season, he will be able to provide veteran leadership and experience out of the bullpen. Expect many teams to be interested in Jonathan Papelbon moving forward.