There have been some rumors swirling that Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox may reunite, and the guys of UNO Sports Tonight took their swings on that topic.
With the trade deadline looming and the Sox still in need of a reliable closer—Joel Hanrahan is out for the year, Andrew Bailey has been ineffective, and Koji Uehara, while promising, is 38 years old and has already blown a save—regaining their former 9th-inning standout could be an intriguing proposition.
Gary Tanguay, Mike Felger and Steve Buckley had no hesitation.
When questioned whether he would pick up Papelbon and his significant contract, with the caveat of not relinquishing a top prospect in return, Tanguay and Felger both responded in the affirmative and Buckley's words were emphatic.
"Yes," Buckley said. "Papelbon is helping to make this happen by shooting his mouth off in Philadelphia, and if that's the case and you can get him back to Boston, I don't care if they booed him when he was here before, they will cheer him like crazy if he comes in and punches out three guys. "
Of course, Papelbon hasn't exactly been a shutdown closer in 2013. He blew four of five save opportunities at one point in June and vented his frustration with the Phillies' organization. Then again, he's been 16-for-16 in his other save chances and previously had much success in Boston.
The Sox may be in first place, but this might be the move the team makes in an attempt to ensure a strong second half.