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Red Sox Have Company in Mike Napoli Sweepstakes


If the Boston Red Sox plan on retaining Mike Napoli and his services, they may be forced to go above and beyond the one-year deal that the club has reportedly offered the first baseman.

Jen Royle from the Boston Herald reported via Twitter that Boston has offered Napoli a one-year deal with a value that is expected to be well above the qualifying offer of $14.1 million that the former catcher turned down earlier this week.  It’s expected that a one-year deal won’t be nearly enough to lure Napoli back to the Red Sox and as expected, some serious competition appears to have entered the sweepstakes.

The Texas Rangers are reportedly going to be the biggest competition for the Red Sox when bidding for Napoli’s services.  The need for a middle of the order power bat is a priority in the Lone-Star state and after seeing what Napoli can do at first base, the Rangers are said to be more than interested, tweets Buster Olney.

The Colorado Rockies are also a team that is said to be interested in Napoli, according to the Denver Post as they search for an option to replace the retired Todd Helton.  James Loney and Justin Morneau are other free-agent first basemen who the Rockies are considering and both could be had at a lower price than Napoli.

Given the Rockies were hesitant to up their offer for catcher Carlos Ruiz when it was learnt that the teams pitch for a two-year deal worth $15 million wasn’t enough, it’s hard to fathom they’d meet the demands to land Napoli.

Napoli wants to remain in Boston.  So much so that he hasn’t left the city yet despite the postseason being finished for over two weeks.  Ben Cherington has said that the club wants to have Napoli stay with the Red Sox but it’s likely they’ll need to up their offer from the one-year deal, especially as other teams become serious suitors for him.

Considered to be the best first baseman available on the market this winter, Napoli will surely receive a multi-year offer at some point this offseason.  Which team that is and what the offer looks like remains to be seen, but in all likelihood, the current offer from the Red Sox will be a starting point in the negotiations.

Will the Sox go to a multi-year deal?  When we asked you the readers in a poll earlier this week, 66% of the voters feel that Boston should offer him a 3-year deal worth $39 million, the original offer that was on the table last winter prior to the hip condition being discovered.  Only 3% feel the Sox should walk away from him all together and only 4% said the club should offer a 4-year deal.

Should Napoli receive a multi-year offer from another club, it will be interesting to see if he gives Cherington and the Red Sox a chance to match it.  He claims he wants to stay here, but how bad?