Bradford is hearing that Papelbon has no plans of signing a new deal before midnight on Wednesday, which means he won’t be on a roster by September 1 and is not going to be eligible for postseason play. Obviously if he were to pitch poorly in September he might’ve been left of a postseason roster anyway, but it’s hard to think that a contender would want to complicate their life if they didn’t at least have the option.
Papelbon, 35, was released by the Nationals a few weeks ago. Assuming he doesn’t sign anywhere, he will finish the 2016 season with a 4.37 ERA and 1.46 WHIP across 37 appearances. And he’ll spend November and beyond looking for a job for 2017.