After over a month of foreplay the Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli
finally consummated a one-year deal yesterday, a major league source said.
Sep 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Mike Napoli (25) bats during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark. The Angels beat the Rangers 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Napoli and Boston reached initial agreement on a three-year, $39 million deal December 3 but negotiations stalled after a physical revealed an issue purportedly with Napoli’s hip. CBS Sports has reported the one-year deal to be worth $5 million, which if true speaks volumes about the condition of Napoli’s hip.
Additional pressure was brought to bear on the negotiations when Adam LaRoche
, another Boston first base free agent prospect was resigned by the Nationals and potential Nats first base backup Michael Morse signed a deal on Wednesday with Seattle.
Napoli, 31, had one of the worst years of his career in 2012. His slash line of .227/.343/.469/.812 with the Rangers was far below his usual output during his seven year pro career. He does, however, remain a middle-of-the-order hitter with power if he can return to form and right now that looks like a big if.
Napoli’s signing fills, at least for 2013, a final gap in the overhaul of the Red Sox lineup.
Topics: Boston Red Sox, Mike Napoli