Mike Napoli and Boston Red Sox Reportedly Agree on 1-Year Contract
UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 2:45 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
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According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com’s Full Count blog, the organization and free agent have agreed upon a revised, one-year contract.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman confirmed the news via Twitter and reported details on the deal:
Napoli got $5M for the 1 year. #redsox— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 17, 2013
Napolis also receives performance bonuses in boston deal. So $5M plus incentives.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 17, 2013
Bradford went on to report even more details of Napoli's deal:
According to another major league source, the deal is for one year with Napoli getting a $5 million guarantee. The deal includes incentives that could increase the value of the contract back to roughly $13 million if Napoli does not spend any time on the disabled list due to a hip injury. The contract is strictly a one-year deal — it does not include any team, vesting or mutual options.
After coming to terms on a three-year, $39 million contract in early December, a physical examination revealed undisclosed problems with the 31-year-old’s hip, which forced the Sox brass to reconsider the deal.
The financial details of the one-year contract weren’t disclosed either, but ESPN’s Gordon Edes reported that sources were indicating it would be less than the $13 million annual salary the veteran was initially slated to earn.
Now that this has been ironed out, the team can focus on integrating Napoli into the lineup and start adjusting to his presence at first base—a position that was rocked by the departure of Adrian Gonzalez to the Los Angeles Dodgers via trade last August.
Napoli is not expected to bring the same type of on-base presence or defense that Gonzo brought to the table, which is why he wasn’t awarded the same sort of deal that the Gonzalez got back in 2011 (a seven-year extension worth $154 million).
What the former Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers star will provide is some power in the middle Red Sox batting order. The team direly needs a home run hitter and RBI manufacturer to help produce some wins and start contending for the AL East crown again.
Napoli set career highs in batting average (.320), home runs (30), RBI (75) and OPS (1.046) in 2011 while leading the Rangers to their second straight AL pennant. But last year, his production dropped off, posting a .227/.343/.469 line with 24 home runs and 56 RBI while being limited to 108 games due to an injured quadriceps.
Sox GM Ben Cherington still has a lot of work to do, but coming to terms on this revised contract with Napoli was instrumental. It should help the organization win games in the short term without too much financial risk down the road.
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