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.
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.
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.