Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
After all, the Red Sox still need a first baseman, and let's be honest, that's what Napoli would be, with or without the signing of another catcher over the weekend.
Here is what Texas general manager Jon Daniels said at the general managers' meetings when asked for a 2012 scouting report on Napoli: "He's got real power and the ability to hit the ball out of any park. He had leg issues and he tried to fight through them. He's a good teammate. I think clubs view it differently, but he has the ability to play first and the willingness to DH. He's a good player."
Then there was this from one other major league decision-maker when asked about Napoli's ability to pay first base: "He's OK." So, there you go. In this case, "OK" might be just good enough.
And while there have been some reports that Napoli wants to prioritize finding a team that views him as a catcher first, one major league official suggested that he hasn't presented positional concerns as a deal-breaker. With that in mind, the player still seems like a good fit for the Red Sox.
Once the Sox signed David Ross, it was believed that the Sox were going to pass on Mike Napoli as they now have three catchers and Napoli still regards himself as a catcher first player. It just doesn't make sense for the Sox to sign him unless they make some moves.
So let's see how we could make this happen.
Let's say Ryan Lavarnway is major league ready as we've been hearing about for the past couple of years.there's no way the Sox are going to keep all three of the catchers on the roster and the odd man out appears to be Jarrod Saltalamacchia. His power at the position is a wonderful luxury, something that a team like the Mets could use to bolster the middle of their order.
Then depending on how desperate the Mets are to keep RA Dickey & David Wright, (and they're pretty desperate), the Sox could either grab a prospect or manage a salary move, like Johan Santana. He's making $25.5 million next year but the Sox aren't going to eat that entire deal, what do they look like the Dodgers? If the Sox could get the Mets to eat 40-50% of it, that deal is done.
So now the Sox have Ross & Lavarnway and again with the jury to still out on Lavarnway, the Sox sign Napoli as their first baseman but also to platoon as catcher if Lavarnway struggles. Also for this to work the Sox will need a first baseman for those days that Napoli catches so the Sox should look into signing Ty Wigginton, who's positional flexibility would be valuable in Boston.
So hypothetically, the Sox could get their guy while taking a flier with Johan Santana at the back of the rotation. Boom. Maybe the Sox have the wrong Ben as GM. That's damn good work for a Monday morning if I say so myself.
Update: Well, you know what would be helpful for my awesome theory? If I gave an amount on how much Napoli would sign for. In my theory, I would offer Napoli the 1 year/$13.3 offer that Texas never gave him with a player option for a second year at $15 million. That way, Napoli has a chance to prove the leg issues he had last season isn't a chronic issue and if he does have a bounce back year, he can go back on the market and get a long term deal with either Boston or another club.
Rest of the Links: CSNNE: Routes to rebuild are changing