Hot Stove: Mike Napoli reportedly seeking four-year deal
|11.25.12 at 4:17 pm ET|
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio (via twitter), free agent catcher/first baseman/DH Mike Napoli is holding out for a four-year deal from the Red Sox, Rangers or Mariners. Bowden tweeted: Mike Napoli determined to get 4th year…waiting on Red Sox or Rangers to blink (Mariners still in it)
Napoli turned 31 on Halloween, meaning that a four-year deal would cover his age 31-34 seasons. He slumped to a .227 average with a .343 OBP, .469 slugging mark and .812 OPS with 24 homers in 108 games in 2012 with the Rangers, a year in which a leg injury limited him to 108 games (his fewest games played since 2008). For his career, he’s a .259 hitter with a .356, OBP, .507 slugging mark and .863 OPS while averaging 33 homers per 162 games. Among remaining free agents, Napoli has the fourth-highest slugging percentage since 2006 (behind Josh Hamilton, Jim Thome and Lance Berkman) and fifth-highest OPS (behind the same three as well as Kevin Youkilis).
The Sox’ interest in Napoli is primarily as a first baseman and a fallback DH option for for David Ortiz. His appeal to the Red Sox as a free agent was augmented by the fact that he was not given a qualifying offer by the Rangers, meaning that another team will not have to sacrifice a draft pick if it signs the free agent. That gives Napoli one advantage in the market over first baseman Adam LaRoche, who is coming off a stronger 2012 season but who did receive a qualifying offer from the Nationals. While the Red Sox have a protected first-round draft pick in 2013, the team is still reluctant to part with its second-round pick.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Boston Red Sox: Final Predictions for Each Key Spring Position Battle
- Boston Red Sox: The 5 Most Disappointing Players in Spring Training So...
- David Price Likely to Start Season on DL as He Recovers from Arm Injury
- Boston Red Sox: 5 Players Who Are in Serious Danger of Being Cut or...
- David Price Reportedly Won't Need Elbow Surgery, Will Be Out 7-10 Days
- David Price's Elbow Could Make or Break Red Sox's World Series Dreams
- David Price Underwent MRI on Elbow Injury, Scratched from Spring Training...
- Notes from the Field: Jason Groome debuts on Day Four
- Chatham using size to his advantage at shortstop
- Fort Report: Another round of cuts as Opening Day nears
- Podcast Ep. #114: Straight Outta A-Ball
- Fort Report: New scouting reports, Meyers motivational WBC experience
- Ockimey making adjustments after second-half swoon
- Notes from the Field: Mata, Anderson, Dalbec, Hill and more from Day Three
- Meyers' big WBC moment now his motivation in camp
- Fort Report: Staff spends the weekend at camp
- Notes from the Field: Devers, Tobias, Garcia and more from Days One and Two