Mike Napoli has spent the bulk of his big league career behind the plate, but if need be, he’s willing to make a permanent change, 90 feet to his right.
The catcher/first baseman has turned into one of the most highly sought-after free agents in a scarce free agent class, and Napoli says he’s open to playing first base if need be, despite spending most of his career as a catcher.
“I just want to play,” Napoli told ESPN.com. “I feel the most comfortable behind the plate because that’s where most of my reps have been. Do I think I can be good at first base if I had reps and practiced it all the time? Yes. But it’s not like I’m saying I have to be a catcher. I just want to be in the lineup and play. If it helps at catcher, I’ll catch, or at first base, I’ll play there. But I like catching. I look at myself as catcher.”
Of course, it would be foolish for a player on the open market looking to get the most money possible to pigeonhole himself at one position if he has the ability to play...