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Ben Cherington: Mike Napoli announcement more than a couple of days away

PROVIDENCE — Speaking prior to the Red Sox [1]‘ town hall meeting at La Salle Academy, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington declined to confirm multiple reports that the Red Sox and catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli [2] had finally agreed to new terms on a contract after physical issues delayed his signing for over six weeks.

“No, but we’re making some progress,” Cherington said. “It’s fair to say we’ve made some progress in the last day or so. Hopefully I’ll have something more formal to say soon, but not tonight.”

The Sox and Napoli first agreed to terms on a three-year, $39 million deal earlier in the offseason, but hip issues prevented the deal from being finalized. The sides reportedly agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with incentives that could boost the pact’s value to $13 million.

Though Cherington wouldn’t confirm that the deal was done, he did say that he was never pessimistic as the negotiations dragged on.

“I don’t know that ‘doubtful’ was a word that I thought about,” he said. “We’ve just kept talking the entire time. I think when there’s dialogue there’s always a chance to get somewhere. It means there’s an interest on both sides, and when there’s an interest on both sides, there’s a chance and you’re hopeful.”

Cherington added that he does not believe the Sox will require Napoli to re-take a physical, though he said there are “still some things we’ve just got to work through.” He added that something could be made official “hopefully soon, but it won’€™t be in the next couple of days or anything like that.’€