The Boston Red Sox should forget about injury-plagued Mike Napoli and just get Nick Swisher on the roster.
The potential signing of Napoli in Boston has turned into a saga. This was a move that appeared to be a done deal, but reportedly hit a snag when Napoli had some issues with the physical. ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes dished on that holdup.
Since that report, it has come to light that Boston is still determined to land Napoli, just with a revised deal.
SI.com's Will Carroll sheds some light with this tweet:
Hearing that the Napoli deal back in negotiations, with team asking Napoli to take less years but same AAV. Swisher Plan B.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) December 13, 2012
The original deal was reported as a three-year, $39 million deal. That is $13 million a year for the 31-year-old catcher who is coming off a season where he set a new career low with a .227 batting average, while also posting his second-lowest on-base percentage at .343—and doing so while playing in just 108 games.
This isn't time for the Red Sox to rework the deal; it is time for them to abandon it and jump all-in on the 32-year-old Swisher.
The switch-hitting Swisher is coming off a season where hit .276 with 24 home runs, and he certainly is showing no signs of slowing down due to age.
There is one setback to this signing, as Mike Cole, who covers the Red Sox for NESN.com, reports that "Swisher is reportedly looking for a five- or six-year deal."
That is a long deal for a 32-year-old, but that doesn't make it more risky than Napoli. Swisher has enjoyed good health. He has played in at least 148 games in each of the past seven seasons. Conversely, Napoli has never played in more than 140 games in a season.
Swisher is a guy the Red Sox can count on to be a consistent presence in the lineup, and this is a team that desperately needs some consistency.