Free agent catcher Mike Napoli is negotiating with the Boston Red Sox according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden. When it comes to Bowden rumors, I tend to take them with a grain of salt, but his information makes sense in this case.
Mike Napoli holding out for 4th year from Red Sox…meeting with Mariners who might be willing to give the extra year according to sources
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 22, 2012
The idea of Napoli in Boston is one that seems ideal. The Red Sox have an opening at first base, which is really where Napoli should be playing going forward. If he’s a catcher, it might be awfully risky to hand him four years, but he can play first base for a couple seasons and then slide to DH if and when David Ortiz vacates the roster.
Boston has been linked to a lot of free agent hitters, but so far they’ve only landed backup catcher David Ross and outfielder Jonny Gomes, and he’s more a platoon player than anything. The one area they don’t seem to need depth is catcher where, in addition to Ross, the Sox have Jarrod Saltalamaccia and young Ryan Lavarnway.
Seattle, for their part, is searching far and wide for additional offense and Napoli could slide in as the primary DH. With the fences at SafeCo Field on their way in, the Mariners will be a more attractive destination. Still, there are few teams with the cache of the Red Sox and few stadiums as friendly to hitters, especially right handed pull hitters, as Fenway Park.