Found December 03, 2012 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
Napoli will feel at home at Fenway Park The Red Sox reached a 3-year agreement with 1B/C Mike Napoli today, a player long-coveted by Ben Cherington and the Red Sox front office.  The 31-year old right-handed hitter will provide some much needed pop in the middle of the Red Sox order.  Napoli hit 24 home runs last season and hasn’t hit below 20 since his 2nd full year in 2007.  All tolled Napoli has 146 home runs over his 7 year career.  The 24 homers that Napoli hit last season would have been second on the Red Sox last season, 1 behind catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  The Red Sox sorely needed that right-handed pop to complement David Ortiz in the middle of the lineup and Napoli should slide nice into the #5 spot in the order. Much has been made about Napoli’s numbers at Fenway and for good reason – they are ridiculous.  He has an astronomical 1.107 OPS at Fenway.  He has a .306 average, a .397 OBP, a .710 slugging percentage and 7 home runs in 73 plate appearances in Boston.  It’s a small sample size and you certainly can not expect him to keep pace with numbers like that over the course of 81 home games during a regular season but it does bare noting that the guy likes to hit at Fenway.  He’s a Jim Rice type hitter…A guy with a lot of bulk who can muscle the ball all around the outfield at Fenway, particularly the left field wall.  You would have to think that moving from Arlington to Fenway will give Napoli at least 3-5 extra home runs a year which moves him from a low-mid 20′s home run hitter to a high 20′s-low 30′s guy.  The Red Sox have been looking for a guy like that since they lost Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay. Napoli should get the lion’s share of playing time at 1B Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the Napoli deal is that it is exactly the type of deal that the Red Sox should be making in the post-Dodgers trade era.  Napoli fills an immediate need in both the lineup and at first base and it didn’t take a long term commitment to do it.  He got 3 years, enough to find a replacement and try to develop him while there shouldn’t be any significant drop-off from Napoli in the meantime.  After 3 years you could maybe even look to bring him back as a full-time DH when David Ortiz rides off into the sunset.  And the money – 13 million dollars a year – isn’t so bad when it’s only a three-year commitment.  That is exactly the financial flexibility that the Red Sox bought when they made the trade with the Dodgers last August.  Spend a little more in the short term to invest in the long term. Will the Napoli acquisition propel the Red Sox to the AL East title or even a wild card berth?  No but it’s a start.  Do they need to add more pieces?  Yes but Napoli was one of the pieces that they needed to add.  Rebuilding the Red Sox from what happened over the past year and a half (still not sure how to describe that mess) will be a complex puzzle that will take time and smarts to put together.  Napoli seems to be a piece that fits nicely into the puzzle.  He can play 1st base, help out at catcher, and add some pop into the middle of that lineup.  Also his career .356 OBP will be a welcome addition to a lineup that has gone away from getting on base. There is still more work to do but it’s always good when a picture starts getting clearer.  Don’t discount the timeliness of this deal, it gives the Red Sox pretty much the entirety of the Winter Meetings to work on other things, hopefully multiple starting pitchers being high on the list.  The best compliment you can make about a transaction is that it makes sense and you didn’t overreach.  You can definitely say that about this Mike Napoli deal.  That makes it a win in my book. Follow me on Twitter

Napoli To Boston, Closer Brian Wilson Wants in Too

ESPN-The Boston Red Sox on Monday agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with free-agent first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli, pending a physical, a baseball source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told don't really know what to take of this signing. When looking at the stats, $13 million a year for a .270 hitter is a little bit too much, but then...

Mike Napoli Signing Allows Flexibility at Catcher for Red Sox, Added Power Bat in Lineup (Video)

Mike Napoli is receiving a lot of praise for his decision to come to Boston for the next three years. The catcher/first baseman signed a three-year contract with the Sox on Monday, and early reports have him slated to primarily play first base. The Boston Globe‘s Peter Abraham applauded the signing, and ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian believes that with a couple more solid signings, the...

Report: Napoli, Boston strike 3-year deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A person familiar with the negotiations says catcher Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a 39 million, three-year contract. The deal is subject to Napoli passing a physical, which will take place later this week, the person said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. A 31-year-old who also...

Report: Red Sox, Mike Napoli ‘Close’ to Agreement on Three-Year Contract

The Red Sox may be closing in on making the first big splash of the winter meetings. reports that the Red Sox are “close” to signing first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli to a three-year deal. The potential financial terms are unknown at this point. And because the Rangers did not make Napoli a qualifying offer, the Red Sox will not lose a draft pick should they officially...

WEEI: Napoli close to 3-year deal with Red Sox

WEEI's Rob Bradford is reporting that the Red Sox are closing in on a contract with free agent C/1B Mike Napoli, believed to be for three years. Financial terms haven't yet been reported, and no one for the Red Sox (obviously) has commented. Napoli put up an .812 OPS (and 24 homers) in an injury-plagued 2012.  If the deal is consummated, Winter Meetings will have kicked...

Boston Red Sox sign Mike Napoli to three-year deal

The Boston Red Sox shored up their offense a bit by agreeing to a three year, $39 million deal with 31-year old free agent catcher/DH/first baseman Mike Napoli. Napoli joins a complicated Boston catching contingent that includes newly signed backup (yet, not a backup) David Ross, along with incumbent Jarrod Saltalamacchia and prospect Ryan Lavarnway (who can't catch). With...

Your Morning Dump...where the Sox could capitalize on their catching surplus

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. The Mariners (who wanted to sign Napoli as a catcher), Mets, Yankees, White Sox and Dodgers, according to major league sources, are expected to be in the market for catchers. With Napoli and Ross now added to...

Sources: Red Sox, Napoli reach deal

The Boston Red Sox and free agent Mike Napoli have agreed to a three-year contract worth $39 million, major-league sources confirmed to Napoli, 31, brings a powerful bat to the Boston lineup, along with the flexibility to catch or play first base. He also could serve as the designated hitter on days when David Ortiz does not play. Napoli was an All-Star and had an...

Ben Cherington Talks About Mike Napoli Signing, Other Red Sox Offseason Plans Including ‘Signing Right Players’ (Video)

Ben Cherington figures to be a busy man this week and over the duration of the MLB offseason, as he seeks to reload a 93-loss team from a year ago. One such way to do that is sign key free agents who not only add pop to the lineup, but also add a solid mix to the clubhouse. It’s hoped that the newest member of the Red Sox will do just that. Mike Napoli reportedly agreed to a three...

MLB: Napoli to Red Sox, Loney to Rays, A-Rod out

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox began to play catch-up by getting All-Star catcher Mike Napoli, Tampa Bay took a chance on James Loney and the New York Yankees prepared for more time minus Alex Rodriguez during a brisk Monday at baseball’s winter meetings. Soon after the Hall of Fame welcomed three new [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for...

Red Sox Winter Meetings Roundup – Day 2

For the second day in a row, the Sox signed a top free agent to a 3-year, $39 million deal, locking up the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Shane Victorino. Although they already have filled needs by signing Mike Napoli and Victorino, the team is far from done this offseason. Here’s a roundup of Tuesday’s rumors: -Free agent [...]

10 Players to Watch at the MLB Winter Meetings

With no baseball action to distract us from the countless rumors circling the internet, the MLB winter meetings are like the trade deadline on steroids. It’s just  baseball’s best and brightest minds talking shop all day long and us baseball nerds fanatics just soak it all in. Of course, every move that is made, whether it’s major or minor, has an impact on the fantasy universe...
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