Here’s the worst case scenario: Papelbon comes to Boston and sucks. The last thing we need is a third reliever, Junichi Tazawa and Fernando Abad being the first two, that is not going to pitch well. Papelbon may also not take any role aside from closing seriously, and this could just be a huge disaster that should’ve been avoided by not signing him in the first place. In this case all you can do is shake your head and release him.
As long as the Sox can avoid pitching Papelbon on back to back days, he should be able to give you some solid innings. Obviously you’re not going to want to throw him directly into high leverage situations, but if he can prove he is worthy this could be a huge boost to the team. It is anything but a slam dunk that Papelbon is successful. However, he can’t be any worse than Fernando Abad so I’ll take that upgrade. If he does well, good for him. If he sucks, release him. Signing Jonathan Papelbon would be a low risk high reward situation. He may not be a great person, but if he can throw a baseball better than Fernando Abad I don’t care. I hope Dave Dombrowski feels that same way.