Yankees, Red Sox Interested In Napoli

2:38pm: The Yankees are also interested in Napoli, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter). The Yankees have a need at catcher, since Russell Martin has also hit free agency. Both Napoli and Martin have strong career numbers against left-handed pitching.

10:39am: Even with David Ross under contract through 2014 and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on the roster, the Red Sox are still interested in free agent catcher Mike Napoli, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. The Red Sox could use Napoli at first base and/or trade a catcher — perhaps Saltalamacchia — to create space on the roster.

The Red Sox are doing extensive background work on Napoli, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The Mariners also have some level of interest in the catcher, a client of Paragon Sports International.

The Red Sox are expected to pursue first basemen this offseason, and Adam LaRoche could appeal to the team's front office executives. Alternatively, the club could rely on a platoon of Mauro Gomez and Jerry Sands at first base, as GM Ben Cherington recently suggested.

Napoli, 31, ranked 14th on MLBTR’s top 50 free agent list. He did not obtain a qualifying offer from the Rangers, which means he won’t be linked to draft pick compensation. In 417 plate appearances as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter, Napoli posted a .227/.343/.469 line with 24 home runs this past season.

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