December 4, 2012
Boston, Napoli Married
Reportedly signed 1B-R Mike Napoli to a three-year, $39 million contract. [12/3]
[Jan. 17 edit: The terms of the deal were changed after Napoli's physical. The final agreement was for just one year and $5 million.]
Two and a half years ago, in August, the Angels put Mike Napoli on waivers like every team puts every player on waivers, and the Red Sox put in a claim. A trade would have made all sorts of sense: the Red Sox were likely to lose Victor Martinez to free agency and had otherwise relied on an about-to-retire Jason Varitek, Kevin Cash, Dusty Brown and Gustavo Molina to fill in the gaps. Gustavo Molina, incidentally, is not related to the Molinas, an incidental he’s probably not sick of hearing at all. Their top catching prospect, Ryan Lavarnway, ranked just 15th on Kevin Goldstein’s list and was described as “an offense-oriented catcher (who) still has work to do behind the plate.” They could have used a catcher like Napoli, even one who catches like Napoli. The Angels, meanwhile, were looking at Napoli’s arbitration status and not altogether sure they wanted that sort of salary commitment on the books, especially with Kendrys Morales expected back at first base.