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Mike Napoli signs three-year, $39 million deal with Red Sox

Dec 3, 2012, 10:40 AM EDT

mike napoli getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s a three-year, $39 million deal.

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Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Red Sox are close to a three-year deal with Mike Napoli. No figures have been reported yet, but Bradford says Napoli will be the Sox’ primary first base option.

Napoli, 31, batted .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs and 56 RBI in 417 plate appearances this past season for the Rangers. He had a career-best .320/.414/.631 batting line, 30 home runs and 75 RBI in 432 plate appearances the season before.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Darn. I was hoping that they would be stuck with him for 4 years.

    • mrfloydpink - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Me, too. I’ve been following the Angels for 30 years and he’s far and away the whiniest bitch they have ever had on the roster. And that’s saying something for a team that has also had Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, and Jose Guillen at various times.

      • gt929 - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:59 PM

        Very good in the Ranger clubhouse. Hmm.

  2. aceshigh11 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    This would definitely be a nice pickup for the Sox offensively. Defensively, I’m not too sure…what I’ve read about his abilities are mixed, but he kills the ball at Fenway, that’s for sure.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Good luck. I might be a tad harsh, but essentially, he has only had 1 outstanding season. He came back to earth last year. The Angels were so eager to get rid of him that they sent him to Toronto for Vernon Wells. The Jays did not want him either and sent him to Texas. After last season, Texas did not seem to be eager to keep him.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        A catcher with a career .350 OBP that averages about 20 HR per 350 PA is a highly productive player. He has both patience and power and his defense is only below average, not horrible. He’s had quite a few excellent seasons, but he was only played about 1/2 time because Socia didn’t like him behind the plate.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        I am sure that Bill James thinks that he will be a decent first baseman for the Red Sox I have my doubts and suspect that he is in a decline. It is Boston’s money to spend and their last free agent binge did not work out very well for them.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Hey Proudly!

        If the Sox were paying him like he’d had 5 outstanding seasons, yeah, I’d be worried. Then we’d be talking Mauer or Fielder money. Instead they’re paying him like Paul Konerko, which sounds about right to me. (Konerko has the same career offensive numbers, better defender, but considerably older. Got almost the same contract.)

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        $39 million over 3 years was certainly not excessive; however; Texas did not think that he was worth $13.3 for 1 year.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        So? Last year no one thought Beltran was worth 2 yrs and $26M. The year before that no one thought Berkman was worth 1 yr and $8M. Teams make mistakes or have different priorities.

      • mrchainbluelightning - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        A “catcher”
        Umm he’s not a catcher now is he? He’s a 1st baseman.

  3. bostonboy82 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    He can hit the ball at Fenway. He’s a better catcher than the other 20 they’ve got and shouldn’t be at 1st. Good to see the sox waking up a bit but Laroche or Swisher would make more sense standing at first with Napoli behind the plate and the salty/lavarnway duo a thing of the past.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      He hit well at Fenway against Red Sox pitching. Can he hit well against non Red Sox pitchers? Can he hit away from Fenway? Gonzalez was expected to hit well at Fenway and was eventually dumped. It will be interesting to see if this signing works out.

      • pisano - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        proudly, good point, who didn’t hit well against Red Sox pitching? especially @ Fenway. That team era had to be high.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        Can he hit away from Fenway? He has hit well everywhere he has played regardless of park or who he faced.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        .227

  4. edelmanfanclub - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Has terrific numbers at fenway so I like the signing. He’ll be at 1st and can slide over to DH when Ortiz retires. The AL East is going to be hard this year, the Red Sox still need some more pitching and possibly a SS and OF (If they aren’t ready to trust Kalish and Iglesias). They might as well though, I still view 2013 as a bridge year. The kids should all be ready by 2014

  5. beefytrout - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    13m/yr for 3 years? Yeah, good luck with all that.

  6. vallewho - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    how much for a third-stringer? …it’s not like that RS play the Angels that much.

  7. Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Seems like a solid deal for a good-but-not-great player. Short terms and almost exactly the average salary for a guy who’s been an .850 OPS guys for his career, giving you a slightly-above-average 1B.

    Going forward, you’d probably project him to lose plenty of value by moving from C to 1B, but to likely hit better without the wear-and-tear of catching, and to also get 25% more playing time, with the added flexibility of putting him behind the plate every once in a while.

    Projecting him as a 2-3-win player going forward makes sense to me (he’s been a 3-win player for his career, but you’d want to project conservatively), which would make the deal a good one.

    Compare to the Victor Martinez deal, which pays him the same yearly amount but for one extra year, for a guy who DHs and is about the same hitter for his career.

    • bozosforall - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      As usual, you are on drugs.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Facts have a well-known Red Sox bias, huh.

      • bozosforall - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:50 AM

        As usual, Boston fans are delusional.

  8. papacrick - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    “He hits the ball at Fenway”. So does everyone else receiving pitches from Lackey, Beckett, and Dice-K. Unfortunately for Napoli and Sox fans, he will be receiving pitches from the likes of David Price, Hellickson, CC, and Pettite. Good luck with that. I’m sure batting practice will be exciting though

    • richwizl - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Is Petitte going to be pitching underhand this year?

  9. pinkfloydprism - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Yes! Another .220 hitter :(

  10. hansob - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Still don’t get why they didn’t give him a qualifying offer, and just let him go. 1 year/$13M deal with Napoli seems like a pretty good, short term, low risk proposition. Or he declines and you get a free draft pick.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      This. And he likely would have declined, considering he must’ve seen offers like this coming. And then the Rangers would’ve had a pick in the 30s.

    • rangermania - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      Nappy doesn’t get the clutch hits with men in scoring position and wasn’t worth what he got. His stats are erratic from year to year. His catching skills going downhill even at his young age. He’s certainly not worth mega millions. The Rangers aren’t idiots.

  11. rangermania - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Ha ha. The jokes on the Red Sox for latching onto a Ranger Reject! Nappy was
    fun at times but simply doesn’t perform in the clutch. Just like Hamilton. Too bad they couldn’t get a package deal. Why not bring Valentine back to top it off?
    I still wish them good health and that they both do well except when they play the Rangers!

  12. bozosforall - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Yet another UGLY and overrated player for the Red Sux.

  13. metroplexfrog - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Napoli is a good player but not worth 13MM a year.

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