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UPDATE: Mike Napoli, Red Sox reach a one-year deal — for only $5 million!

Jan 17, 2013, 9:24 AM EDT

napoli getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Yes, there are incentives, and if reached, they can boost the deal up to $13 million or so.  Still, the fact that it’s a $5 million base does suggest that the Red Sox were truly spooked by Napoli’s health.

10:20 AM: Wow!  Heyman reports that the Napoli deal is for only $5 million!  That’s is crazy-low given where the sides were at previously.  One has to assume the deal is laden with incentives. Or that Napoli basically doesn’t have a functioning hip.

9:24 AMRob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Red Sox and Mike Napoli have reached a one-year deal.

He has no details, but reports last night suggested that it would be for less than the $13 million AAV that his initial three-year deal, tentatively agreed-to by the Sox before things went sideways, would have given him.

Definitely a downer for Napoli, who probably wanted to end his wandering of the past couple of years. But the fact that he didn’t simply tell the Sox to pound sand and go sign a deal with another team suggests that his hip problem is severe enough that he didn’t think he had the leverage to do so.

For now: he’s the Red Sox’ first baseman.

  1. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I guess sometime within the next 24 hours if not sooner we all should find out the details of this long awaited deal. Fans across the baseball world have been sitting on the edge of their seats while the final scene of this soap opera draws to a conclusion.

    • nolanwiffle - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Further proof that the vast majority of Yankees fans are not baseball fans, they’re just……………. Yankees fans.

  2. jarathen - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Mike Napoli strikes me as one of those cases where I wonder how a career would have gone with a manager more appreciate of a player’s given skillset.

    What kind of career would he have if he’d had the chance he was given in Texas during his time in Anaheim?

  3. crispybasil - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Interesting that the one-year deal would be for less than $13 million. I wonder just how bad his hip looked during that physical.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      I don’t think there’s anything to wonder about. His hip is in terrible shape. I don’t see any reason to believe that he’ll play more than, say, 60 games this year.

      If he were even slightly healthy, he would have looked for a deal elsewhere. This is the best he could do. And meanwhile, the Red Sox have to hope — against all logic — that they didn’t just throw about $5 million

  4. mrfloydpink - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Wow, the Red Sox are building a full stable of broken down former Angels. Perhaps they can sign Vlad Guerrero to go along with Napoli and John Lackey.

    • sargespeak - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Tim Salmon to the rescue!

      • dwrek5 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Come on Timmy, just one more home run!!! #399

  5. hammyofdoom - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    To me this deal being brought all the way down to 1 for 5 means that at some point in his near future Napoli is probably going to need hip replacement surgery. The only thing I can see spooking the Red Sox this much on a player that they wanted this badly would to see that it is essentially bone-on-bone in that hip. I’d be curious to see what the actual issue is, but I can’t imagine it’s something not pretty serious

  6. unlost1 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    WOW that’s so low, none of us would accept that! (DUH – it’s 5 million for having fun PART of the year)

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    that’s only, what, ~$23M less than fellow gimpy-hip-hipster ARod will make.

  8. beefytrout - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Wow, I think Mike Napoli may now be the most extreme example of how free agency can go wrong.

    After 2011, the Rangers wanted to lock him up for a few years. Napoli said, nah, I can definitely do better when I hit the open market after 2012. Then he had a pretty crappy 2012 season, and somehow actually did do better when he hit the open market, after turning down the Rangers qualifying offer of $13m.

    Now this. Ouch.

    • suziecue59 - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Rangers didn’t make him a qualifying offer!!

      • beefytrout - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        you’re right, I forgot that.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      Jody Reed used to be the standard. Can anyone remember the details?

  9. paint771 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    It sounds like Napoli may have even gotten more spooked than the Red Sox, or incredibly limited himself in the negotiation. Because I would imagine that if he would have auctioned this baseline on the open market that there would have been plenty of teams willing to bid it up a big, going say $6 guaranteed, 12 with incentives, do I hear 6.5/13, etc. I wonder how he got boxed into such a corner with one team?

  10. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Unless Napoli’s hip is really, really bad I just don’t understand him settling for $5MM guaranteed. I wonder how easy or difficult the incentive levels will be to reach. Very surprised Napoli signed off on this type of deal.

  11. bostonboy82 - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Hmmmm. There go all your “overpaid for Napoli lines”.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      True, but we still have “overpaid for Victorino” and “overpaid for Gomes” lines this winter.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Didn’t Gomes get the same base dollar amount at Napoli?

        Now that signing looks even dumber.

  12. tfbuckfutter - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    My excitement for the upcoming season just jumped from “apathy” to “still apathy but getting ever so much closer to ambivalence.”

    Top 10 Draft Pick Here We Come.

    (One more free agent signing like this and that period up there….well that may become an exclamation point)

  13. theskinsman - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    uyf, I must invoke the ‘yanks overpay so much for a-fraud you just can’t make any Sox overpaid for anyone’ comment rule. It’s unseemly. And now the much dumped on Boston front office scores after a loooong dry spell.

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