The Boston Red Sox signed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and 1B/DH Mike Napoli to one-year contracts this week, ending frustrating negotiations and speculation. Ellsbury agreed to $9 million on Jan. 18, but he is a free agent after the 2013 season. MLB.com reports Napoli's $5 million contract is loaded with incentives that could make it worth $13 million. The Red Sox also signed one-year deals with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and six relief pitchers.
Ellsbury's value affected by 2012 injury
Ellsbury enjoyed an outstanding season in 2011 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI, .321 batting average and 39 stolen bases. But his production dropped off dramatically last year because of a shoulder injury that limited him to 74 games in which he hit 4 home runs and 26 RBI. Boston decided to negotiate conservatively with the speedy center fielder, not knowing whether the 29-year-old Ellsbury can fully recover his batting strength.
Napoli's hip condition causes contract changes
Napoli, a former catcher, originally signed a three-year deal worth $39 million on Dec. 3, but that contract was nullified when a physical revealed a chronic hip condition. David Brown of Yahoo! Sports asserts that the 31-year-old's hip issue has gone unreported for years. Boston still wanted Napoli under a restructured contract because the team had only backup Mauro Gomez as an option at first base.
Sox sign seven other players
According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox recently agreed to one-year contracts with seven other players:
- P Joel Hanrahan ($7.04 million)
- C Jarrod Saltalamacchia ($4.5 million)
- P Andrew Bailey ($4.1 million)
- P Alfredo Aceves ($2.65 million)
- P Daniel Bard ($1.86 million)
- P Franklin Morales ($1.48 million)
- P Andrew Miller ($1.47 million)
These athletes all played for the Red Sox last season, except for Hanrahan, who departed the Pittsburgh Pirates to become Boston's new closer. With these deals, relief pitcher Craig Breslow is the team's only unsigned player eligible for arbitration.