Shortly after the Nationals released Jonathan Papelbon, multiple reports pointed to the Cubs as a possible landing spot for the veteran reliever. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the front office have strong ties to Papelbon, plus Jon Lester pushed for the Cubs to acquire him from the Phillies last summer.
Buster Olney, who is at Wrigley Field for Sunday Night Baseball, reported “the Cubs will be among teams that will take a look at Jonathan Papelbon as a possible fit.”
Olney pointed out that Papelbon would have to be comfortable with a set-up role with Aroldis Chapman now in the closer’s role.
The extent of the Cubs’ interest in Papelbon is unknown at this point. The Cubs are looking for ways to improve the roster, especially in the bullpen where injuries and poor performance have created concern for the front office.
The Cubs would like to create options for Joe Maddon for the remainder of the regular season that could also help win games in the post-season tournament.
The Cubs are believed to be looking for a left- and right-handed reliever to add before the end of the month, possibly the same type of acquisitions the front office made a year ago with Fernando Rodney and Trevor Cahill.
Jonathan Papelbon asked for his release from the Nationals so he could sign with a team as soon as possible. With few options, Papelbon should sign rather quickly.