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Mike Napoli agrees to two-year, $32 million deal with Red Sox

Dec 6, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT

Mike Napoli Getty Getty Images

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Red Sox are bringing Mike Napoli back. They have signed the 32-year-old first baseman to a two-year, $32 million deal, adding to what has been yet another exciting day of hot stove action across baseball.

It’s quite the raise from last season’s one-year, $5 million deal (though he did earn another $8 million by hitting incentive benchmarks), but Napoli came up big for the Red Sox throughout 2013. He finished the regular season with an .843 OPS and also struck two important blows for the Red Sox against the Tigers in the ALCS, hitting the only and deciding run in Game 3 with a solo home run and getting a three-run rally started with a lead-off home run in the second inning of Game 5.

  1. quintjs - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Happy with this deal for the Sox. If they are going to play the kids (Bradley, Bogaerts and Middlebrooks then a veteran bat with some Power was needed to sure up the lineup. 16m a year for 2 years is a pretty good deal.

    • wendell7 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Hope he doesn’t shave for the duration of the contract!

      • moogro - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        But if he dyed it black, then we’re told we have to hate him.

  2. lazlosother - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Good signing for both. Napoli is made for Boston, and vice versa. With some of the other contracts given out this year I think Boston got a bargain.

  3. Reflex - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    After Beltran and Choo I think this was probably the last real impact bat on the board. Be interesting to see where the other two go…

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Well, it took about 20 minutes to answer one of those questions.. I hope in another 20 minutes we find out about the other.

      I want a Choo-Choo train to Boston personally, but I’m a greedy asshole.

  4. redsoxchamp11 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    keep calm, hit snooze and just keep Naping. the siesta is back

  5. hermie13 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Beltran made way more than $5M after incentives last year…

    • quintjs - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      I’ll stick up for you hermie – becuase in your defense, Beltran did make way more than $5m last year…

    • rje49 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      Dosen’t it say he made another $8 million in incentives?

      • rje49 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:58 PM

        Meant to reply to hermie, below – about Napoli

  6. hermie13 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Napoli made way more than $5M last year after incentives.

  7. drewzducks - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Cheerington once again gets it right. Short term for an important cog in their lineup and someone who has become an excellent defensive 1B. Gotta love how they haven’t had to overpay and overextend themselves, allowing for incredible roster flexibility, unlike other teams have had to. Also, if after two years he is still healthy and productive then they can extend him as a 1B/DH. Another win/win for the WS Champs.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:28 AM

      Over 3 years, he essentially gets slightly more than his original 3 year contract from last season that was voided because of medical concerns.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        I gotta say, I’m still worried about those medical concerns. But my fears are minimized given that the Red Sox’ doctors just got to spend a year tracking his condition’s progress.

        Even in the worst case scenario, it’s still just two years. I love this deal.

      • drewzducks - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

        They basically were able to use the first year as a tryout. Had full access to track his health from up close, see how he fit in with his teammates and the Boston environment and most importantly they were able to gauge his development at 1B into arguably the best defensive 1B in the league last year. Again a win/win for both parties.

  8. pastabelly - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Some guy on MLB Radio today said Napoli might be looking for a change of scenery. I never laughed so hard. This guy was made for Boston just like Shawn Thornton.

    • chinahand11 - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Stellar, simply stellar. MLB Radio, ESPN, the gossipy fish wives of the media. They have no shame about slinging rumors out there, and Mr. Highly Placed Anonymous Source seems to work for a lot of these guys.

  9. Honeycutt - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Glad to see he found his shirt.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      I’m told he when he decided to take the picture he had to dig through the couch cushions to find one.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      It was fixin to be a long, cold, nipply winter for him otherwise.

      • rje49 - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        Yes, I’ll never forget that Chevy Chase line….

  10. tfbuckfutter - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    I wish the Sox could field a traditional 1st baseman, but I also have no problem with them getting Napoli in the lineup and he really couldn’t play anywhere else.

    Plus it’s always nice to see the best beard on the team brought back if they are still going with that motif.

    • Jack Marshall - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      What does “traditional 1st baseman” mean to you? One who can’t field? One who is overpaid? You are aware that he was terrific in the field last year, right? That he could have legitimately been awarded the Gold Glove at the position if there weren’t so many people like you who just assumed he played first like a converted catcher, and didn’t actually watch the games? Why should he play someplace else when he was one of the best at the position in the game? The Red Sox have had excellent fielding first basemen since Youk took over there in 2006, and they didn’t lose a thing with Napoli, who exceeded all expectations.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        I really meant a 1st baseman who more frequently brings 30 HRs to the table.

        Which he may do more often if he stays on the field.

        And I felt the same way about Youkilis. I’m not complaining, I just wish Napoli could play another position where his offense is more valuable (not that it’s NOT valuable now, but it is less valuable because of his position IMO).

        I didn’t express the thought properly, and I’m not clarifying it any better at the moment.

        I am happy he’s back with the team.

      • Jack Marshall - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Regarding your follow-up—exactly six of the top 25 1st sackers in baseball had 30 homers or more, and there are 30 teams. I don’t see how 30 home runs can be the benchmark of a ‘traditional’ player at the position when only 20% of them reach that number. On the other hand, Napoli had the second best WAR in the AL, which I would think would be more important than how “traditional’ he was. So if Ortiz played first and Napoli was the DH, that would be better?

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Again, my point is that I’d prefer his offense elsewhere.

        I’d rather have an Adrian Gonzalez at 1st and Napoli at Catcher or 3rd. Since a situation like that isn’t possible I have no complaints about Napoli at 1st. I am just referring to ideals.

        “Traditional” wasn’t the best word to use, and like I said I am aware I didn’t express the thought properly, but I mean a bat like Mo Vaughn, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Jim Thome…That’s all I was getting at. Bats like Youkilis and Napoli’s are awesome. They are MORE awesome when they are playing a position where their offense is an even greater value.

  11. xpensivewinos - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    That deal was a given……..just a matter of when.

    It sure feels like there’s a big deal brewin’ with the Red Sox that’s going to come down soon.

  12. slaugin - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Unless your thinking trade, there’s no one I can see on the FA market worth a Big Splash for the Sox

  13. drewsylvania - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:13 PM


  14. blynch67 - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy that last year was going to sign a 3 year deal with Boston, but then had issues and in the end they got him for one year?

    So now they sign him for another two years.

    What was his original 3 year deal for, before it got pulled?

    • drewsylvania - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:37 PM


  15. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Well said Jack. He was above average fielder and I would even say great but that just IMO.

  16. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Only baseball, 6 million more is “slightly”. When I have a kid I will order him to learn how to be a switch hitting catcher from birth. Instant millionaire

    • ptfu - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I’ll train mine to pitch lefthanded. Employable forever.

  17. bunkerhillbob - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Great news; now, retain Drew and our solid infield remains intact.

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