Free agent reliever Jonathan Papelbon isn’t looking to sign with a team. Rather, he’s taking time to tend to a personal family matter according to his agent Seth Levinson, per Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
Papelbon, 36, struggled to a 4.37 ERA in 37 appearances this past season before being released by the Nationals in mid-August. He didn’t end up latching on with a new team. While Papelbon’s age and recent performance are detriments to his baseball future, so too is his personality. Papelbon attempted to choke then-teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout of a game against the Phillies near the end of the 2015 regular season. As a member of the Phillies in 2014, Papelbon was reprimanded for making a rude gesture towards fans after a poor relief performance.
Papelbon has 368 career saves, good for ninth all-time. If he decides to continue playing, he is close to surpassing Joe Nathan (377) and Dennis Eckersley (390).