It has been 18 days since the Red Sox reached agreement with free agent Mike Napoli on a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract, but the deal still is not official.
As the delay continues, the questions only mount:
Just how bad is Napoli's condition?
Napoli, sources say, has a problem with one of his hips - a problem that led the Seattle Mariners to back off their pursuit of him, as reported by Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio and confirmed by a source, and also may have concerned his previous team, the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox, in the words of general manager Ben Cherington, are "working through some issues" in trying to finalize Napoli's deal. As best as anyone can tell, that means that problems surfaced during Napoli's physical, and the Red Sox are trying to rework his contract.
In the end, Napoli may prove to be fine, just as retired outfielder J.D. Drew proved to be fine after going through a similar experience with the Red Sox. Drew waited 52 days to finalize a f...