Red Sox Claim Mike Napoli, No Deal Reached

MONDAY, 4:06pm: The Red Sox will not trade for Napoli, according to Alex Speier of A source familiar with the situation told Speier that the Angels were "not really looking to move" the catcher.

SUNDAY, 6:29pm: The Angels will likely pull Napoli back as they can create more of a trade market for him over the winter, a league source told John Tomase of the Boston Herald.

3:38pm: ESPN's Joe McDonald tweets that the Red Sox have claimed Napoli on waivers, but in a separate tweet says it's unlikely the two teams work out a deal for the slugging catcher.

Sitting 5.5 games back of the Wild Card and first place in their division, the Red Sox are a logical fit to claim Napoli. His right-handed power would fit well in Fenway, and his presence would also serve as an insurance policy to Jarrod Saltalamacchia beyond the 2010 season. The claim also blocks Tampa Bay from getting their hands on Napoli.

Ken Rosenthal points out (via Twitter), that if the Angels are intent on trading him, they could likely get more for Napoli in an offseason deal when they can incorporate more teams into the bidding.

9:23am: Mike Napoli has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Angels have until Monday afternoon to work out a trade with the claiming team, which Morosi speculates is an American League club.

Napoli, 28, has been a consistent source of power for the Angels, hitting 61 homers in his last three seasons, including a career-high 21 this year. However, Mike Scioscia seems to prefer Jeff Mathis, a superior defensive backstop, behind the plate. Since Mathis came off the disabled list in June, Napoli has seen far more playing time at first base, replacing the injured Kendry Morales, than at catcher.

As Morosi notes, most American League contenders could use some help at catcher, first base, or designated hitter, and Napoli may also appeal to non-contenders like the Tigers, since he's under team control through 2012. As they exhibited on Friday by dealing Brian Fuentes, the Angels aren't averse to making August trades, but the bet here is that Napoli remains in Anaheim.

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