The Red Sox may soon have to decide just how much they covet Mike Napoli.
The Sox have reportedly expressed interest in Napoli this offseason, but according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the veteran slugger is seeking a four-year deal. That could toss a wrench into Boston’s plans, as Napoli is reportedly meeting with the Mariners, who could be willing to give him the fourth year he’s looking for.
Napoli would likely serve primarily as a first baseman if signed by the Red Sox, while he may have an opportunity to remain behind the plate if he signs with the Mariners. That could potentially play a factor in the 31-year-old’s decision, although he has expressed a willingness to play first if the right opportunity presents itself.
Napoli is coming off a down year in which he hit .227 with 24 home runs and 56 RBIs in 108 games. He put together an impressive season in 2011, though, hitting .320 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs while helping to guide the Rangers to a World Series appearance.
Mike Napoli holding out for 4th year from Red Sox…meeting with Mariners who might be willing to give the extra year according to sources
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 22, 2012
Photo via Flickr/scott mecum