Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/14/13
Replacing Todd Helton has the Rockies considering a wide range of options. They have expressed interest in free agents Mike Napoli and James Loney, according to a source with direct knowledge of their plans. Napoli, a key figure in the Red Sox’s World Series championship, turned down Boston’s $14.1-million qualifying offer this week. He originally agreed to a three-year, $39-million deal last winter, but it was renegotiated after a routine physical detected avascular necrosis in his hips. He was given a one-year, $5-million deal, and by avoiding the disabled list, he made $8 million in incentives. Napoli, 32, is one of the best sluggers on the market. He hit 23 home runs last season, and has topped 20 in five consecutive years. He delivered 63 extra-base hits for the Red Sox. Napoli, a former catcher who played only first base last season, provides pop from the right-handed side that few in the game can match. That will come with a price. The Red Sox, according to the Boston Herald’s Jennifer Royle, have not offered a multi-year deal, only a one-year deal worth more than the qualifying offer. James Loney would cost less, bringing an entirely different skill set. He’s known as a strong defender, but lacks power. He had a strong rebound campaign with the Rays last season on a one-year, $2-million deal, hitting .299 with 46 extra-base hits. A former Dodger, Loney, 29, has performed well at Coors Field, hitting .338 with a .382 on-base percentage with 54 RBIs in 201 career at-bats. His familiarity with the National League West is considered a plus. Colorado also has interest in free agent Justin Morneau and checked in on Mets’ first baseman Ike Davis in trade talks. The Mets want young players in return, making a match unlikely.
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