As of today, players with expired contracts are eligible to file for free agency, but teams still have until Thursday at 12:01am ET to exclusively negotiate with their free agents. So far though, the Red Sox have yet to make a contract offer to closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to WEEI's Rob Bradford.
During his introductory press conference this week, Ben Cherington indicated there had been some dialogue with Papelbon and that he expects the two sides to continue to talk. However, the new Red Sox GM tells Bradford that he doesn't expect a contract to be signed before Thursday: "My impression is that Pap will probably get into free agency. I'm not ruling anything out, but that's my impression."
The Red Sox figure to offer Papelbon arbitration in November, so if the Type-A free agent does sign with another club, the Sox would snag two draft picks out of the deal. For a more in-depth look at Papelbon's free agent stock, check out MLBTR's Dan Mennella's piece from back in August.