Mike Napoli On Re-Signing With Red Sox

Last week, the Red Sox agreed to terms with Mike Napoli on a fresh two-year deal that will reportedly pay him $16MM per season.  Of course, the veteran slugger had plenty of suitors, and one was said to have given him a three-year offer.  I asked Napoli if a three-year deal was floated to him by another club and while he declined to give details, he said that the market for him was quite robust.

"There were a lot of teams actually," the 32-year-old said on this afternoon's conference call. "I'm not going to give any specifics but it ultimately came down to, I told my agent, I wanted to come back to Boston and play there and get something worked out."

This year's go-round through free agency went a whole lot smoother for Napoli than it did last year.  After initially agreeing to a three-year, $39MM guarantee with the Red Sox, Napoli's physical revealed that he has avascular necrosis (AVN) in both hips. As a result, his contract was renegotiated down to a one-year, $5MM deal with $8MM of incentives (which he reached).  I asked Mike if he was glad to have a simpler path to a new contract this offseason, one that has everything tied up neatly in advance of Christmas.

"After going through what I went through last year, it was definitely a relief to just go through this and it was fairly easier than last year and ultimately I'm happy to be back and I wanted to be someplace where its comfortable and somewhere where we can win," Napoli said.

The re-working of Napoli's deal last winter to adjust the terms and add language regarding his hip condition took about two months to get done.  This time around, GM Ben Cherington says that there was no need to hash out any conditions regarding the hip issue.

"It's a two year guaranteed deal, I won't get into the specific language and details but there's no special coverage or anything like that related to the hip.  Mike is healthy and we're thrilled that he's going to be a big part of our club for the next couple of years and beyond," said Cherington.

While Napoli's deal is official, Red Sox fans are wondering about the long-term future of franchise cornerstone David Ortiz.  Cherington opted not to discuss Big Papi at length after he disclosed that he is seeking an extension to take him beyond the 2014 season.  Before steering the focus back to Napoli, however, Cherington reiterated his desire to see Ortiz finish his career in Boston. 

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7 Comments on "Mike Napoli On Re-Signing With Red Sox"

1 year 9 months ago

Seems Napoli took a pretty hefty discount to return. If he made his 8 million last year, plus 16 million the next two, it comes out to 24 million over 3 years. The original pact was for 3 years and 39 million. Thus, either because of the injury, because he truly wanted to come back, or because of bad negotiating on his agent’s part, he left 15 million sitting on the table.

1 year 9 months ago

His base salary was $5million with another $8million in incentives totaling $13million for the year. Adding $16million this year and another $16million next year, that all totals $45million over three years; $6million more than the original contract of three years, $39million.

1 year 9 months ago

Well said and done Busta. My math was all over the place. Seems like a good time to get that nap in. :)

1 year 9 months ago

It could only be because of injury. Redsox changed their offer from the 3/39 to the 1/8 with incentives based on his physical that came back with his hip issue. He didn’t leave any money on the table (at least not from the Redsox) because it wasn’t the offer after they saw what came up.
Now, I could see him after this contract, taking a discount. I believe (although no reports show it) that Napoli had a lot of interest, possibly for more money then he signed with the Redsox for. Shows real commitment to a team, a kind of player everyone should wish they had on their team.

James F
1 year 9 months ago

It was 5 million + 8 million in incentives so he made 13 mil last year. Original deal had him making 39 million, and his new deal if you count last years, is 3 years 45 million.

James F
1 year 9 months ago

Mind my late reply. I didn’t refresh the page before I entered it and it didn’t show any one elses replies. After I refreshed, it showed everyone elses comments but mine.

Eric Foley
1 year 9 months ago

Nap just etched his name into Sox fans hearts forever. It seems in this day and age of money, there was a glimmer of team and city loyalty. As if he wasn’t already, Nap is an instant team favorite! The love is returned ten fold!