It's over! It's finally over. The Red Sox & Mike Napoli have finally settled on a contract. That worry about Casey Kotchman possibly starting for us? GONE. EVERYBODY REJOICE.
According to WEEI's Rob Bradford:
According to a major league source, the Red Sox and Mike Napoli have reached an agreement on what is believed to be a one-year deal.
So we get Napoli and we get him on a one-year deal. It'll probably be a little more costly for this year, maybe something like $15 million but the Red Sox don't have to worry about his hip in the long term. My only concern is that if he does have a good year, the cost of re-signing him will go up but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Update: According to Gordon Edes, the one year deal is going to be less than the $13 million annual average of the original three-year deal on the table. So this guy feels a little dumb but hey Napoli on a cheaper one year deal is a steal.
Edes also mentioned that Napoli was also talking to Texas:
Napoli and the Texas Rangers had re-opened talks, but he instead chose the Red Sox because he'd get a more clearly definite role with more at-bats.
With Texas, Napoli would have shared playing time at catcher (A.J. Pierzynski), 1B (Mitch Moreland) and DH (Lance Berkman) -- so he opted to take a one-year deal with Boston.
Well then! I was worried that Texas would try and swipe him next year but they were thinking of adding him as the super utility man this season and because the Sox strung him along there was a chance this could've happened. Needless to say, there would have been a lot of anger directed towards Ben Cherington if they did all this negotiating for nothing.