In an appearance on Sirius XM Radio, Jonathan Papelbon told Jody McDonald and Bert Blyleven that he would consider playing for the Yankees once his Boston career is over:
“Oh, of course. I mean, I think if we can’t come to an agreement on terms here in a Red Sox uniform, I mean I think that’s pretty much the writing on the wall.”
Papelbon says he’d consider joining other teams, too:
“Not only the Bronx, but anywhere. I think anywhere is a possibility. You always have to keep that in the back of your mind because you can’t just be one-sided and think that, “Oh, I’m going to be in a Red Sox uniform my entire career” because nowadays that is very, very rare and hopefully we can because there’s no question I would love to stay in a Boston Red Sox uniform but I have to do what’s best for me and play in an atmosphere where I’m wanted.”
Papelbon is under Boston control until after the 2011 season, when he becomes a free agent. While this does seem to be a negotiating ploy in Papelbon’s never ending contract push, he does raise an intriguing point. Being that the Yankees are likely to have an opening at closer at that point, I would not be shocked if Papelbon were right about the writing being on the wall. He is an excellent closer who has survived the postseason and the rigors of the AL East, and certainly has the psyche to thrive in NY. I hate the guy, but he would be a good fit, and would cheer for him if he ever pulled on the pinstripes.
What about you? Would you ever consider Papelbon as the successor to Mariano?