The Red Sox will have to settle for the one-year deal after originally agreeing to a three-year, $39 million agreement back in early December. The reason why the deal took so long to finalize was because of a hip injury that the team spotted during a physical before officially signing Napoli.
Sox general manager Ben Cherington has targeted Napoli for his power and thinks he will be a good addition to Fenway Park.
“We like his offense in Fenway; we like the versatility.”
The versatility that Cherington is referring to is Napoli’s ability to convert from catcher to first base, a position he will be playing for the Sox, who already have Jarrod Saltalamacchia and young prospect Ryan Lavarnway at the catcher position.
The signing will add some power to the middle of the Sox lineup as Napoli will complement designated hitter and Sox leader David Ortiz. The move by the Sox brings in a player who has been a Red Sox killer batting .307 with nine home runs and 20 RBI’s against the home team at Fenway in only 75 career at-bats.
This should be a good fit for a team that is aiming to be a contender again after a dismal 2012 season. The 31-year old Napoli made his first All-Star team last season with the Texas Rangers and hopefully will bring similar numbers to the Boston Red Sox.
Baseball sources also report that with incentives, Napoli can make up to $13 million on the one year deal.