Now before anybody says anything, yes...there was an agreement that was talked about in December between the Boston Red Sox and right-handed slugger Mike Napoli. But things have changed since then, and the two sides apparently have reached a new deal as of Thursday afternoon.
Originally, the two sides agreed on a 3-year, $39 million deal back in December. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI in Boston, the new deal is reportedly only for one year and will be worth $5 million. There are also incentives in place that could boost that total up to around $13 million.
Boston hasn't formally announced the agreement as of Thursday evening, so there could be a few procedural matters to take care before everything is made official.
The original deal would've been signed in December as scheduled, but the Red Sox discovered a hip problem from Napoli when he had his physical.
While he has primarily been a catcher throughout his career, Napoli will shift to first base for Opening Day, giving some added boost to the middle of the lineup alongside David Ortiz. He could see some time behind the plate, however that position is already stacked with the likes of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross, and Ryan Lavarnway. The move to first will ensure that he will see considerable playing time.
In 2012, Napoli hit .227 with 24 home runs and 56 RBI's en route to his first All-Star appearance. Boston is hopeful he can return to form of the year prior, when he slugged 30 homers with 75 RBI's and a .320 average. Those were his first two years in a Texas Rangers uniform.