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Mike Napoli likely to settle for one-year deal from Red Sox

Jan 16, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT

mike napoli getty Getty Images

According to Gordon Edes of, “all signs” point to a resolution between the Red Sox and Mike Napoli in the coming days.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported earlier that the two sides are currently working on a one-year deal. Edes believes it will be for less than the $13 million annual salary that Napoli was set to receive as part of a three-year, $39 million deal agreed to before a physical turned up a hip problem.

If the deal is completed, Napoli figures to become Boston’s primary first baseman and cleanup hitter. That would be a very good situation for him to increase his value as he heads back into free agency next winter. But for that to happen, he’ll need to show that his hip is sound.

While Edes doesn’t mention it, I wonder if the new revised deal might not include language that prevents the Red Sox from making Napoli a qualifying offer next winter. The presence of the qualifying offer hurt the market for free agents like Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Adam LaRoche this winter. That Napoli didn’t get a qualifying offer from Texas made him particularly attractive to a Boston team that wanted to hold on to its second-round pick.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    So they win the battle and the reward is a guy who admits he is damaged goods?

    Par fir the course lately.

  2. 4d3fect - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    What’s that sound?

    Almost like snickering in boardrooms from Anaheim to Arlington.

  3. mashoaf - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Maybe the Mariners can be late players for Napoli… I’ve heard rumors that they need a middle of the order power bat first baseman/DH…

  4. scottp9 - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    I’m pretty sure the rules forbid clubs from agreeing not to make qualifying offers to their free agents. This is a change from the days of salary arbitration offers to free agents, which contracts could prohibit.

    • paperlions - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:09 AM


    • garylanglais - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Here’s the actual language from CBA for the nerds out there like myself…

      Article XX (B)(5)(c)

      “A Club and Player (or their designated representatives) shall not enter into any agreement, understanding or contract, or make any representation, promise or commitment, whether implied or explicit, either orally or in writing, that the Club will not make a Qualifying Offer to a Player, or that a Player will not accept a Qual- ifying Offer if one is tendered to him. Any Club or Club employee that violates this provision will be subject to discipline by the Commissioner, including the potential forfeiture of draft selections.”

  5. ghostofjimlindeman - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Red Sox owners found out he didn’t rank very high on their sexy meter so they’re trying to kill the deal.

  6. ghostofjimlindeman - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    This may sound harsh but I’m sick of John Henry his carpet bagging crew and their fake commitment to winning. Sell the team John to someone who cares about winning. Not someone who looks at Boston as a pimp trying to squeeze every last dime out of the fans they can. Better yet just stick with soccer.

    • bobwsc - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      yea…two world series titles and the second highest payroll most years. what a commitment to mediocrity.

      • ghostofjimlindeman - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Uh huh and who put that team together again?

      • ghostofjimlindeman - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Henry would sell Fenway urinal cakes if he thought he could make a buck off it, winning is not his priority money, image, and NESN ratings are. Also become quite the back stabbers under this regime how many ex players they run out of town again?

      • bobwsc - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        ’04 was most of Duquette’s players, but it was under Theo that they brought in Ortiz, traded Nomar for Cabrera, traded for Schilling and Dave Roberts, signed Arroyo, Foulke, Millar, Mueller.

        so, that constitutes a fake commitment to winning? what kind of farm system did Duquette and the previous regime build?

    • Ari Collins - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Umm… they may have seriously blundered in the last couple offseasons under Theo, but those were blunders of spending the money on the wrong people, NOT being cheap and failing to commit to the on-field product.

      They have essentially the same payroll this year as they did last, still one of the top payrolls in baseball. (Plus they’re no longer committed to many over-30 players long-term, which will help them greatly in future offseasons.)

  7. proudlycanadian - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    So Napoli fell victim to the old bait and switch con. The Red Sox circus continues to entertain baseball fans.

    • paperlions - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      Since when is failing a physical a “bait and switch”? As soon as he failed the physical, he could have resumed/started negotiations with any team.

    • bobwsc - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      we’re making progress; at least you kept the destruction of Daniel Bard out of this post.

      have they confirmed the Jays parade route yet?

  8. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    I can’t imagine the proposed deal the 2 are working out will be as cut and dry as: 1 year for X dollars (X dollars being less then $13MM). I can’t imagine that there won’t be some incentives in it that get Napoli up to the $13MM annual pay based on PA’s or not being on the DL for his “hip” issue. And possibly even some sort of vesting option for a 2nd year.

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