ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox and the Cubs are the two teams that have had talks with all-star closer, Jonathan Papelbon (recently granted his release from Nationals). I've said it once and I'll say it again, the Red Sox really need to make a strong push to acquire him because he's thrived in Boston, and he has won here in Boston. He's been with the Sox through title runs and September collapses and, after seeing money won't buy him happiness, it's time for him to come home.
However, the Cubs also remain strong players in Papelbon (go figure) as they continue to try and be the Red Sox of the NL under Elstein and Hoyer.
This all depends on what Papelbon's morals are for the remainder of this season. Does he want to be a key contributor on a World Series contender and fix a somewhat sour taste in the mouths of Red Sox Nation? Or does he want to have the better chance to win a World Series title for a team that hasn't won in 108 years, but maybe pitch in the same role as he did at the end of his Washington stint? I say Boston has the upper hand here as Papelbon loves to be involved in games, especially when they're meaningful and on the line.
Keep your eyes pealed as WEEI's Rob Bradford and Bleacher Report have both reported that Pap's decision will likely come in the next 24 hours on where he will finish the year.