Found December 04, 2012 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
The 2012 MLB winter meetings started off with a splash for the Boston Red Sox yesterday after they reportedly signed free agent, first baseman/ catcher, Mike Napoli to a 3 year deal for $13 million annually. That deal was just the first of hopefully many deals made by General Manager Ben Cherington. As soon as the Napoli deal was reported the rumor wheel began turning faster and faster. The first rumor was that the Red Sox were talking to Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher about a contract. The Red Sox have yet to re-sign outfielder Cody Ross, and by signing Swisher, it would appear the Red Sox would part ways with Ross, unless of course there is a bigger plan they have in mind of moving a piece like Jacoby Ellsbury. Last season for the Yankees Nick Swisher hit .272 with 24 homeruns, and 93 RBI’s. Ross who was one of the few bright spots in the Red Sox dismal season, hit .267 with 22 homeruns, and 81 RBI’s. Signing Swisher over Ross would essentially replace Ross with an identical hitter. With the signing of Johnny Gomes last week there would be no need for both Ross and Swisher. Another rumor swirling around the twittersphere involved the New York Mets Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey. According to sources the Red Sox have talked to the Mets at the winter meetings, and possibly before the winter meeting even started. To trade for the Cy Young winner, it would appear to take multiple Red Sox top prospects including Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley, who the Red Sox won’t trade unless they really feel like they are getting a great player in return. Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher who had an ERA of 2.73 last year, and he had an almost as impressive ERA in 2010 with an ERA of 2.84. His ERA might be good, but take into account where he pitches most for the Mets; Citi Field, a pitcher friendly ballpark. Fenway is anything but a pitchers ballpark, and Dickey’s knuckleball might become problematic if he pitched for the Red Sox. Although the Red Sox need all the pitching help they can get, Dickey would not be a wise choice especially since his price tag would appear to be very high. Another name that’s been floating around sports talk radio, and social media sites since before the season ended is Rangers outfielder, Josh Hamilton. With the signing of Gomes last week, and the possibility of Nick Swisher, the Red Sox would have no room for Hamilton in the outfield. If the Red Sox wanted to move somebody like Jacoby Ellsbury and bring in Hamilton, it would be much better for them to unload an extra outfielder before signing a big free agent like Hamilton. Although Hamilton is a good ballplayer, much has been speculated about how he would work out in Boston with lots of media pressure, and his past history of alcoholism and drug use. If the Red Sox could sign him to a 3 year deal or less, and move Ellsbury, it might be worth the risk to sign Hamilton. Then again, if the Red Sox brought in a player like Hamilton couldn’t that undo all the progress they made to ride the clubhouse of toxins? Hamilton is not known as the best clubhouse leader, and after what happened in 2011 and 2012, bringing in Hamilton would be foolish for Boston. Another outfielder being mentioned is the Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino. Again the Red Sox would either have to dump an outfielder, or choose between, Victorino, Swisher, and Hamilton. Victorino was a fan favorite when he played for the Philadelphia Phillies for over 7 years before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline last year. Victorino’s numbers have declined over the past few years as he hit just .255 between Philadelphia and Los Angeles last year. That was his career worst in batting average, and there’s no reason to believe he might his stats might go back up, especially if he were to play in a tougher division like the AL East. Within the next week, we should hear more and more rumors, and more confirmation of deals occurring throughout Major League Baseball. Not every deal that happens will happen this week, but after the week is over, each team should have a better feel of where they stand for the rest of the offseason, and what they need to do going forward. For the Red Sox, no matter what they do, they should be in better shape than what they were in last year.

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...

Napoli Signing Gives The Red Sox Lineup Some Weight

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...

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...

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...

Report: Koji Uehara, Red Sox Agree on One-Year Deal

Mike Napoli isn’ t the only former Ranger heading to Boston. According to Gerry Fraley of, the Sox and right-handed reliever Koji Uehara have agreed on a one-year deal on Thursday, contingent on Uehara passing his physical. The 37-year-old appeared in 37 games for the Rangers in 2012 and posted a 1.75 ERA.

SF Giants Rumors: Swisher Has San Francisco On His Radar, Ludwick and Hairston Options, Scutaro Offer On The Table

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post says (via Twitter) since the San Francisco Giants have Angel Pagan back in the mix. They’ve spoken with Nick Swisher‘s representatives, but are thinking smaller (Ryan Ludwick, Scott Hairston). Jon Heyman of says (via Twitter) Swisher would like to play for the Giants. In another tweet, he points out that it makes sense that Swisher...
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