The Boston Red Sox still haven’t finalized their agreement
with first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli, as general manager Ben
Cherington told Jim Bowden of ESPN that the slugger “is still a free agent.”
Ben Cherington "We are still looking to add offense to 1B. Mike Napoli is still a free agent"
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) January 9, 2013
The Red Sox continue to pursue players that could fill their
void at first base, something they hoped to have accomplished when an agreement with Napoli was announced earlier last month. But the findings of his physical alarmed the Red Sox, and Napoli’s contract has not yet been finalized.
Cherington told Bowden that there is “simply no deal” with
Napoli at this point. He continues to hold out hope that a contract will be
signed and that the sides can work through the issues to get it done.
Boston will certainly need to figure this out sooner than
later, as the spring is quickly approaching and alternative options are
dwindling just as fast. Adam LaRoche, the only other impact bat at first base
on the free agent market, re-signed with the Washington Nationals recently. The
Red Sox also traded Jerry Sands, a possible alternative, to the Pittsburgh
Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan deal.
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