Mike Napoli Rumors
- "(We are still) working through some issues, and we'll continue to do so. ... Until something's done, it's not done," said the GM when asked about Mike Napoli, tweets Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald. Napoli's three-year, $39MM contract reportedly hit a snag due to a red flag found during his physical.
- Cherington reiterated that he intends to keep center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, tweets ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. The 2011 AL MVP runner-up can become a free agent after next season.
- Stephen Drew is expected to take his physical "soon," tweets Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. The shortstop agreed to a one-year deal worth $9.5MM earlier this week.
- Earlier today the Red Sox designated Pedro Beato for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Dempster.
DECEMBER 13: Without mentioning Napoli by name, GM Ben Cherington provided an update on the deal, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports. “We’re working through some things in regards to another player,” Cherington said.
DECEMBER 12: It'd be inaccurate to say the deal is in jeopardy, but there are some issues to work through, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe confirms that the Red Sox are still working through some issues related to Napoli's deal (Twitter link).
DECEMBER 11: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if the deal may have hit a snag. Major league sources say that Napoli was set to be introduced in a press conference today but did not go forward with the event. It is not known what the holdup is, but the deal is still not official despite being agreed to early last week. Meanwhile, none of the involved parties have responded to inquiries over the last two hours from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston (via Twitter).
DECEMBER 3: The Red Sox have become the first team to make a major splash at the 2012 Winter Meetings, reaching an agreement on a three-year contract with Mike Napoli. The deal is for three years and $39MM, with the Red Sox choosing to pay the Brian Grieper client a higher annual salary rather than tacking on a fourth year. Napoli's money is spread evenly at $13MM per year, notes Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
Napoli had a down year by his standards for the Rangers in 2012, hitting .227/.343/.469. However, he has a career .863 OPS, and is one season removed from a .320/.414/.631 line. While Boston likely doesn't expect him to produce at that level again, the team will make him its primary first base option, according to Bradford. Cafardo tweets that the 31-year-old will also catch occasionally for the Sox.
The Rangers will not receive a compensation pick for Napoli since the team decided not to make him a qualifying offer at season's end. That decision, which raised eyebrows at the time, looks even more curious now that Napoli has agreed to a deal for three times the term and salary of a one-year qualifying offer.
In MLBTR's list of the winter's top 50 free agents, Napoli ranked 14th overall. As our Free Agent contest leaderboard shows, five MLBTR writers correctly predicted that the ex-Ranger would sign with the Red Sox.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) reported the agreement, while WEEI.com's Rob Bradford was the first to report that the two sides were closing in on a deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter) reported the financial terms.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.
An ex-Ranger is heading to the AL East, as Mike Napoli and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year contract earlier today. However, there's still plenty of activity going on out west, so let's round up a few items from the AL West....
- The Mariners and Rangers sound like the two biggest suitors besides the Nationals for Adam LaRoche, says Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- As the Angels eye Sean Burnett, they continue to have interest in other relief options, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). Mike Adams remains a possibility, and the team also checked in on Joakim Soria, though he wants to close.
- The Mariners remain open to signing a defensive catcher, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com.
- The Mariners had "no idea" that the Red Sox were closing in on an agreement with Napoli, GM Jack Zduriencik tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
9:59am: While no financial details have been reported on the deal Napoli and the Sox are working toward, Abraham tweets that it sounds as if Boston paid a larger annual salary to get a three-year contract done, rather than a four-year pact.
9:38am: The Red Sox are closing in on an agreement with Mike Napoli, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Bradford reports that the deal would likely be for three years. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had reported earlier this morning that the Sox were "working hard" to land Napoli (Twitter link), while Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe says (via Twitter) that Sox officials are talking about Napoli as if he's part of the team.
Napoli had a down year by his standards for the Rangers in 2012, hitting .227/.343/.469. However, he has a career .863 OPS, and is one season removed from a .320/.414/.631 line. While Boston likely doesn't expect him to produce at that level again, the team would make him its primary first base option, according to Bradford. Cafardo tweets that the 31-year-old would also catch occasionally if he joins the Sox.
Napoli ranked 14th on MLBTR's list of 2012's top 50 free agents.
Originally published on December 3rd at 9:39am.
The Mariners are looking for offense and are "in on everybody", a rival GM tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That includes big fish like Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton and they're also considering Mike Napoli and Nick Swisher. Cody Ross, Ryan Ludwick, and Mark Reynolds may also be fits in Seattle. More from around baseball..
- Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (via Twitter) that the club hopes to sign Mike Napoli, though it has to be on a three-year deal, not a four-year deal. Lucchino added that the club is in on Hamilton (Twitter link) but they won't go to six, seven, or eight years to make it happen. It has been well documented that the Red Sox are leery of long-term deals as they look to spend responsibly going forward.
- Asdrubal Cabrera has a six-team no-trade clause allowing him to block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Giants, Mets, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Indians have reportedly set the bar high in their demands for Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo.
- Zack Greinke's agent Casey Close told Heyman (via Twitter) that he'll know in the next 24-48 hours if a deal can get done in Nashville. Close added that nothing is close for his client just yet. Meanwhile, Braves GM Frank Wren says that it's "probably unlikely" that he will sign Greinke (Twitter link).
- The market for Ryan Dempster may develop more this week with the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Twins in the mix, Morosi tweets. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter) classifies Dempster as the Brewers' top free agent target.
- One source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he wouldn't rule out the Nationals trading for a pitcher like James Shields of the Rays. The Nats could potentially use Mike Morse in a deal for Shields as the Rays are in need of offense.
- The Yankees don't sound very interested in Mike Napoli or Pierzynski, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- The Mariners aren’t seriously interested in A.J. Pierzynski and the Yankees weren’t looking too closely at the free agent catcher before Martin agreed to sign in Pittsburgh, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Heyman hears Pierzynski to the Dodgers is “not happening.” Heyman suggested yesterday that the Dodgers could have interest in Pierzynski.
- The Rockies seem confident that Ramon Hernandez will rebound in 2013, so they might not have interest in pursuing veteran catching depth, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
Several player agents tell Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that the Mariners' chances of attracting free agent hitters have improved now that Safeco Field's fences are being moved in. That said, while the shorter fences will help, "players look at all of those factors, but in the end, it still comes down to where they can get the best contract. And it always will," one agent says.
Here are some items from a very busy day in baseball....
- The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke on Thursday, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
- In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN), Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said his team will likely pursue free agents over trades at the Winter Meetings. "We probably don't have a lot of pieces that we do have to trade for starting pitching [with Denard Span now gone]," Antony said. "We'll probably be a little more aggressive and spend our time at the winter meetings talking to agents rather than clubs."
- Russell Martin said the Yankees told him they didn't have the money available to match Pittsburgh's two-year/$17MM offer, reports David Waldstein of the New York Times. The Yankees didn't make Martin an offer and have yet to make any offers to position players this offseason, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (both links are to Twitter).
- The Yankees aren't likely to pursue either A.J. Pierzynski or Mike Napoli, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
- The Pirates considered pursuing Napoli but didn't think he could stay healthy and effective as a full-time catcher in the NL, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Royals offered Ryan Dempster a two-year, $26MM contract but are no longer bidding on the Canadian right-hander now that his price tag has risen, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. At least six teams besides Kansas City have been connected to Dempster this offseason.
- Also from Dutton, the Royals offered Scott Feldman a one-year, $4.5MM deal before the righty agreed to a one-year, $6MM contract with the Cubs earlier this week.
- MLB.com's John Schlegel lists 10 potential bargain signings on the free agent market.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com's Mel Antonen (Twitter link) that negotiations with Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders have been a "little slow" to develop.
Here's the latest news from Fenway...
- The Red Sox are talking to Adam LaRoche, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. With the Sox reluctant to go beyond a three-year contract for Mike Napoli, LaRoche could be the team's fallback plan. A three-year deal would top the Nationals' best offer to the free agent first baseman, as the Nats "have been fairly steadfast" in not offering LaRoche more than two years. The Rangers have also been linked to both LaRoche and Napoli this offseason.
- Also from Heyman's piece, he notes that the Red Sox have "checked in" on Alex Gonzalez and Stephen Drew, though Jose Iglesias will get first priority at shortstop.
- Jacoby Ellsbury's name hasn't been mentioned in trade talks, team president Larry Lucchino said during an appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show today (partial transcript from WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane). Lucchino also said that while the Sox haven't closed the door on any free agents, "what we have ruled out is the kind of long-term, gigantic commitment to players if at all possible....We are more concerned about years than we are dollars."
- From that same radio appearance (courtesy of The Boston Herald's Scott Lauber), Lucchino said the team is still interested in re-signing Cody Ross. Though Boston recently signed Jonny Gomes, Lucchino said the team wants to build "deep depth" after last year's injury-plagued season.
- The Red Sox will tender Alfredo Aceves a new contract before tomorrow's non-tender deadline, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The pitching-needy Sox value Aceves' versatility as a starter and reliever too much to let him go for nothing, despite Aceves' disciplinary issues in 2012. Lauber thinks Aceves could still possibly be a trade candidate.
It's a good time to be a free agent catcher with power. Interest in Russell Martin remains strong, and the market for Mike Napoli seems similarly active. Here’s the latest on Napoli on a day that he had been scheduled to meet with the Rangers...
- The Rangers remain focused on Napoli, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Their interest in Martin will increase only if Texas believes Napoli’s asking price is too high.
- The Red Sox are in contact with Napoli, Nick Swisher and Cody Ross and all three free agents remain in play for Boston, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Napoli, Swisher and Ross appear to be the top targets for the Red Sox, who seek help at first base and in the outfield. One executive said he views the Red Sox as the favorite to sign Napoli. Like Swisher, Napoli has the versatility to play multiple positions, a bonus for the Red Sox.
The Twins have had conversations with Francisco Liriano's representatives, a source with knowledge of the talks tells LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. The two sides are expected to meet next week during the winter meetings but General Manager Terry Ryan is keeping mum on potential targets for the club. Here's more Tuesday night linkage..
- The Rangers did not meet with Mike Napoli today, despite previous reports to the contrary, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. However, the club is set to meet with the catcher tomorrow. Earlier today it was reported that Napoli appears to be the Red Sox's top free agent target.
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (Twitter links) reached out to David Wright after his comments earlier tonight to MLBTradeRumors. The third baseman indicated that he was displeased with the public nature of his contract negotiations. "I wish I could elaborate but it was important to me from the very beginning that these negotiations remain confidential and private. I plan on sticking to that. Sorry I can't comment any further," said Wright.
- The Royals have discussed Wil Myers in trades for Rays right-hander James Shields and Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that the two hurlers aren't exactly equal. The two are owed similar money through 2014 ($24.625MM for Lester and $21MM for Shields) but Shields has been much stronger in recent years.