The Boston Red Sox originally agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with catcher turned first baseman Mike Napoli. After concerns about Napoli’s health began to grow, the deal turned into a one-year, $5 million deal with the possibility of Napoli earning $8 million in incentives.
By being on the active roster for 165 days, Napoli has earned all of the $8 million in incentive, the maximum amount he could earn, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.
The 31-year old has looked healthy, probably because he is not a full time first baseman rather than a catcher. The catcher can now likely get a deal that looks a little more like the three-year deal the Red Sox originally offered than the one-year deal he actually signed.
Napoli, who has also played for the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers, is three strikeouts away from setting the single season Red Sox strikeout record (second baseman Mark Bellhorn whiffed 177 times in 2004). That hasn’t stopped Napoli from having a productive season. He’s batting .260, has posted an on base percentage of .354 and is slugging .482. He has 21 home runs and 87 RBI.
The Red Sox will send Jake Peavy (11-5, 4.01 ERA) in attempt to sweep a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. The struggling Rays will counter with Jeremy Hellickson (11-8, 5.04 ERA).