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Washington Nationals Rumors: Release of Jonathan Papelbon “in the works”?

Jonathan Papelbon’s time in the Washington Nationals’ bullpen is reportedly nearing an end. Multiple reports this morning say he has requested and will likely be granted his release.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from’s Jerry Crasnick this morning, the Washington Nationals and now-former closer Jonathan Papelbon may be close to parting ways.

Papelbon, 35, has reportedly requested his release after he lost his job in the Nationals’ bullpen when the Nats acquired Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade before the non-waiver deadline.

It was a move that was made necessary by Papelbon’s struggles in his second season in D.C. after was acquired in a pre-deadline deal in late July of 2015.

In 37 appearances and 35 IP this season, the right-hander has put up a 4.37 ERA and a 3.68 FIP, with 14 walks (3.60 BB/9), 31 Ks (7.97 K/9) and a .268/.338/.416 line against.

Crasnick is reporting this morning that Papelbon has asked for his release and a move might be coming soon-ish:

In an MLB Network Radio interview this week, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker, who praised Papelbon as a teammate and well-liked and respected member of the clubhouse, discussed the supplanted closer’s struggles adjusting to the move to bring Melancon into the ‘pen.

“He’s been used to closing all this time,” Baker said, “but we all have to remember that he was in the same position himself a couple of years ago when he came in and took [Drew] Storen’s job, and so I guess what comes around goes around, but I mean it was a little tough — I imagine it was a little tough to for him to accept it, but he’s a team guy, he wants to win more than anything and it’s supposed to be tough for him.

“Nobody expected it to be easy for him, but that’s a part of life.”

UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick is not the only one hearing these rumblings: