According to sources, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Boston Red Sox will likely be one of many teams to offer free-agent-to-be first baseman Mike Napoli a deal somewhere in the three-year range after missing out on Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu earlier this month.
Here’s what one GM had to say about the future of Boston’s first baseman: “If the Red Sox don’t tie him up for three years, someone will. He’s a power righthanded bat. If the risk of his hip condition getting worse is minimal, and that’s what everyone would have to find out, the righthanded power bat is pretty enticing.”
Napoli has found a home in Boston this season, helping lead the Red Sox to the World Series after a disappointing 2012 campaign. That being said, despite the fact he “loves playing in Boston,” according to Cafardo, there will be several teams vying for his services this winter.
With the hip ailment that cost him a three-year deal with Boston last offseason under control, Napoli could be in the market for a long-term deal. The 31-year old hit 23 home runs and drove in 92 runs for Boston this year, further evidence that his hip is a non-issue at this point in time.
Cafardo points out that Napoli isn’t opposed to catching again, either, which could make him an attractive option for many teams. His competition on the free agent market is limited, albeit potent. It includes Mariners’ first baseman Kendrys Morales, Rays first baseman James Loney – who had a resurgent year with Tampa Bay – Justin Morneau, Corey Hart and Mike Morse.
With the Red Sox trailing two-games-to-one in the World Series, Boston is no-doubt focused on the task at hand. But once the calendar flips to November, locking up Napoli will likely be a top priority moving forward at Fenway Park.