The Boston Red Sox have made a multi-year offer to first baseman Mike Napoli according to Jeff Passan from Yahoo. Napoli has made it known that he would like to return to Boston but has stated that he will “shop around” to see what other teams may be willing to offer before settling on a new contract.
The Red Sox did extend a qualifying offer to Napoli but with the multi-year deal apparently on the table and now with Napoli confirming that he will explore other offers, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll take the one-year deal.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Napoli is the highest ranked first baseman on the free-agent this off-season and will certainly garner interest from multiple clubs.
Despite his recent health concerns that led to the Red Sox revoking their original three-year deal last winter, Napoli wants and will get a multi-year deal. Terms of the Boston offer were not disclosed but speculation from Steve Adams at MLBTR suggests that the former catcher could warrant that same 3-year, $39 million dollar deal that Boston had offered to him prior to the diagnosis of avascular necrosis in his hips.
Ben Cherington was wise to extend the qualifying offer to Napoli given the first round draft pick that is tied to it now, should another club sign him.
Our friends at Over the Monster mention that should Napoli leave, both Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes could potentially platoon first base which they believe could be the reason that the Red Sox are pursuing Carlos Beltran for the outfield.
Napoli did set a Red Sox franchise record for most strikeouts in a year but it’s the long balls that fans remember most, particularly the moon shot in Detroit during the ALCS off Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander.