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Hip problem causing Red Sox’s delay signing Mike Napoli

Dec 21, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

Mike Napoli AP

It’s now been three weeks since Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox and no official announcement has been made, leading to lots of speculation about what might be causing the holdup.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Napoli “has a problem with one of his hips” which also “led the Mariners to back off their pursuit of him” earlier in the offseason.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has avoided any meaningful comments on the situation, saying stuff like “we’re working through some issues” when asked why Napoli remains unsigned, which Rosenthal speculates means the pre-signing physical exam revealed some red flags and Boston wants to re-work the language in his contract to lessen their long-term risk.

That’s similar to what the Red Sox did with J.D. Drew years ago, when they waited nearly two months to announce his signing and ended up putting a clause in his $70 million contract that protected them should his shoulder problems become a major issue.

For now at least there’s no indication that either side will try to back out of the deal completely.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I am sure that the Red Sox and Napoli will work something out. They need each other. If he has a hip problem, I assume that his days as a catcher are over.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      That Pierzynski signing doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        I can understand why Texas did not want to keep Napoli. What I did not understand is the glowing report in the Boston Globe after he agreed to the contract. They praised his hitting and his past success hitting in Fenway. I do not remember any mention of his health risk.

      • paperlions - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        It was a 1 year deal….there are no bad one year deals that involve signing a players that fills a distinct need.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        Ok, then, paper, be Brandon Inge’s agent.

      • bigleagues - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        Agree with paperlions on AJP.

        Also, the most recent example of the RedSox working out protective language in the event of player succumbing to a chronic injury is Lackey. Of course we had to suffer through two full seasons of him trying to pitch through his injury, but the Sox now have him for next to nothing for this season because of that injury clause.

        If Napoli is healthy he’ll be a solid contributor. If the Sox get similar language to drew and Lackey, then I’ll be satisfied that he’s a safe bet.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Eh. Cherington is just so-o-o unhip, man.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      Do you remember a song called the “Hippy Hippy Shake” by The Swinging Blue Jeans?

      • tonyz6060chevy - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        I remember that tune done by Chan Romero back in the late 50′s ,early 60′s

      • aceshigh11 - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Wow, you two are OLD.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        We stopped counting after 39.

      • rje49 - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        The Beatles used to sing it in their live shows. I’ve got a few recordings of it.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Do what I did, PC. I switched to birthiversaries — aniversaries of my 40th. :)

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        I will celebrate my birthday on the 28th. The actual age is a state secret.

  3. jaybird22seven - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    3 years might be to much. 1 year with incentives. Nobody is lining up for this guy.

  4. phreakin - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    I remember the song but mainly because it was redone in the eighties or nineties by a rock band who’s name escapes me

    • unlost1 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      georgia sattelites

      • Old Gator - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Too bad Vic Chesnutt never got to cover it….

      • phreakin - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Good memory!

  5. hushbrother - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    The clause should say, if the hip problem turns Napoli into October A-Rod, we get our money back.

  6. fanofevilempire - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    all of a sudden the Red Sox are worried about money, they are lucky
    the Dodgers took those massive contracts of their hands.

    oh boy!

  7. tonyz6060chevy - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Cool, hopefully this deal with the Red Sox falls through, and Dodgers sign him. I want to see Napoli back in So.Cal. and preferably not to a team that is not managed by Mike Scioscia!

  8. pw38 - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Well you can see why the Rangers didn’t make a serious move for him. I like Napoli a lot. He was a great player to have around the team and he was a fan favorite. Unfortunately this is a business and really outside of that one monster second half he’s been fairly average. Throw in the hip thing (they had to know about it) and it’s not surprising they let him walk. I wish nothing but success for the guy but I really think his best days are behind him now. Hopefully Boston hedges their bets with him.

    • senioreditor2 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      and not worth 39 million as a DH.

  9. uyf1950 - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    IF their deal with Napoli falls through the Sox options for 1st base at least those available in FA is pretty limited. There’s LaRoche if he doesn’t re-sign with the Nationals before then, there’s Berkman I guess and possible Swisher, but I think Swisher is going to want more money and years then the Sox want to offer. Since the options are pretty limited for both the Sox and Napoli they will probably work out whatever issues there are in the contract language and hope for the best. Just my opinion.

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