Sox fans rejoice! We're finally going to get our first baseman! According to the Globe's Peter Abraham:
A Major League source told the Globe tonight that the Red Sox are working toward a contract agreement with first baseman Mike Napoli and are "hopeful" of getting it done.
Napoli agreed to terms on a three-year, $39 million deal on Dec. 3. But an issue — believed to be a pre-existing hip injury — was detected during Napoli's physical on Dec. 7. The sides have been working on an amended deal since.
Napoli, 31, remains a free agent. But he is not believed to have negotiated with any other teams since the initial agreement with the Red Sox. And while the Red Sox have not closed the door on other players, their focus has been on securing Napoli.
It has taken over a month to try and hammer out what basically is an insurance clause for the Red Sox, I'm just curious to know what that clause is. I highly doubt it's something similar to John Lackey's clause considering that more and more pitchers come back better than ever from Tommy John surgery. Unless Napoli is considering a hip replacement, I doubt that the Sox would want to tack on an extra year for a catcher with a bad hip, even at the veteran minimum.
It's going to come down to how much the Sox will owe him if the hip gets injured. It would be a surprise if the Sox were able to just outight void the contract, there's no way Napoli would sign a deal that has that type of clause. The most likely of situation would be just pay him a percentage of the deal and that percentage is what is taking so long to agree on. But it appears that'll all be over, Napoli gets his deal and the Sox get who they want. Everybody wins. Except Adam LaRoche.
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