Boston Red Sox: Mike Napoli and Team Still Out on Deal

1/2/13 in MLB   |   This_is_Rick   |   265 respect

September 7, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli (25) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays  at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Rangers 3-1 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsAs the clock nears closer to midnight, and countless masses of people fixate on the ball drop into another year, the Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli still have not reached a deal.
 
The team has expressed concern over hip issues that may (or may not) be hampering Napoli, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
 
The original deal, a three-year, $39 million contract, looked all but signed sealed and delivered just two weeks ago. However, following the possible less-than-stellar doctor’s report, the club has seemingly began to re-evaluate their stance on the catcher/first baseman.
 
 Napoli had his best season in 2011 while playing for the Texas Rangers. In 113 games, he hit .320 with 30 home runs, solidifying himself as a rare combo of a good defensive catcher with well-above average offense.
 
But is he worth the risk to the Red Sox? After all, $13 million per season is on the higher end of yearly bases (especially for a catcher), and it will put place the club in the same area of payroll as they were in 2012.
 
And that, moreover, makes the deal seem not as beneficial for the Sox—anything resembling 2012 doesn't. 
 
The team's front office, including general manager Ben Cherington, have not ruled out the possibility of the restructured contract—if that is the case—working. But in the latest rumor-mill deals around the league, this particular deal has enticed both parties involved to seek other options.
 
One possible candidate, whom would stand as a viable replacement as a power bat in the Sox lineup is left-handed hitter Adam LaRoche—which may just be the more productive (and healthier) option for the team in 2013.
 
 
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