Washington Nationals release Jonathan Papelbon

A nightmare experiment is now over for the Washington Nationals, as they have released former closer Jonathan Papelbon. This comes on the heels of Papelbon reportedly asking for his release after the team told him he was to be designated for assignment. Had the team DFA’d him, they would’ve had 10 days to either release him, trade him, or demote him to the minors. 

In a corresponding move, the Nats have recalled right hander Reynaldo Lopez from Triple A Syracuse.


Papelbon has been one of the best closers in the game for the past few years, but has really fallen apart in Washington. He was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies at last season’s trade deadline. He pitched well for Washington last year after the deal, going 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA and seven saves in 22 games. 

There was talk about possibly trading him to acquire extra assets, but ultimately, the team moved out Drew Storen to the Toronto Blue Jays for outfielder Ben Revere.

He’s having his worst statistical year in his career in 2016. Papelbon is 2-4 with a 4.37 ERA and 19 saves this season. This would the first time in his career where is ERA would be 4.00+ if the season ended today. 

His performance isn’t the only thing that wore out his welcome in the nation’s capital. Papelbon is reportedly not a good teammate. There’s also the infamous incident that took place last year in the dugout, where he choked superstar Bryce Harper.

It’s pretty simple to see what happened here. Washington realized that this v wasn’t working out and wanted to DFA him. Papelbon, not wanting to go through the 10 days of limbo, asked to be released immediately, and that’s what happened.

Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images 

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