It has been 24 days since the Red Sox and Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year contract worth $39MM. The two sides have been unable to finalize the deal due to a hip issue that popped up during the physical, and the team is reportedly trying to put some protective language into the pact. They’ve used similar clauses in contracts for J.D. Drew and John Lackey.
Earlier today we learned the Red Sox have been talking to Adam LaRoche, a free agent first baseman who would be a viable alternative to Napoli. A few hours later we heard that Napoli’s representatives have had talks with at least one other team. Both reports could just be one side trying to gain leverage over the other, or they could be an indication the agreement is falling apart and they’ve both begun to look for alternatives.
With the calendar just about ready to flip over to 2013, unsigned free agents will soon begin to scramble to find jobs for next season. Teams will also start to scramble for solutions to their remaining roster holes since Spring Training will be just six weeks away. Neither Napoli nor the Red Sox want this thing to drag out any longer, so a resolution should come relatively soon one way or the other.