We’ve hit that lull after the winter meetings. The holidays are over and many of the pieces are either starting to fall into place for Major League ball clubs or are falling apart. This includes the Sox.
During a flurry of activity that left some teams standing flat-footed, Boston put a lot of nice pieces together to complete their 2013 puzzle. They still have issues to solve, particularly at first base – especially if Mike Napoli isn’t signed (will this story either conclude or die?) – and in their starting rotation. Here’s a rundown of three rumors to chew on while waiting for the club to be rounded out.
Mike Napoli Will Be Signed By Boston – Fact
Despite my predictions – twice – that the deal was dead, many Boston sportswriters, Nick Cafardo and Peter Abraham among them, say that signing Napoli was still a priority for Boston. Napoli had better hope so. The rumors that other teams are interested in Napoli are apparently just that. That leaves Napoli with no leverage with Boston still in need of a first baseman. I’m from Missouri on this one. Show me.
Further fueling the Napoli signing fire is Nats first baseman Adam LaRoche, a very long shot. He wants three years and Boston would have to give up a valuable high draft pick. This rumor surfaces every other day yet has the lifespan of a congressional fiscal cliff work effort. LaRoche wants to resign with Washington. Napoli will be in a Red Sox uniform on opening day.
Boston Will Sign Bobby Abreu – Hell No
From what addle headed pundit did this cockamamie rumor arise? Abreu is 38, posting some very average numbers at this point in his career and would become part of an already crowded outfield. Last season with the Angels and Dodgers, Abreu hit .242/.350/.342. Ho hum. Pass the milk and toast.
Boston Has Been Talking to Miami About Giancarlo Stanton – Iffy
Now there’s a rumor to get excited about, unless you’re Shane Victorino. Miami’s 23-year old stud right fielder (.290/.361/.608/.969 in 2012) is the real deal. If you’re going to crowd your outfield, do it with Stanton. He won’t come cheap. Miami would be looking for prospects like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. All the stars would have to align and Boston would have to temporarily lose their no long-term deals mentality to make it happen. It’s a long-shot but a juicy long-shot.