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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bradford: Red Sox, Mike Napoli (finally) reach agreement

Story of extremely mild intrigue ends in mildly intriguing fashion.

According to a major league source, the Red Sox and Mike Napoli have reached an agreement on what is believed to be a one-year deal. The two sides had been renegotiating an agreed upon three-year, $39 million contract since concerns arose regarding the free agent first baseman’s hip after a team-administered physical on Dec. 10. The original deal was agreed upon on Dec. 3.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:43 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, red sox, transactions

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4348913)
I'm not as excited about this since the apparently ominous results of the physical exam.

I guess Gomez is his backup.
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4348927)
So...are there any front runners for a long term 1b option starting in 2014? The Sox don't have any internal prospects (unless I am forgetting someone).
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4348935)
Travis Shaw had excellent numbers in Salem and didn't suck in Portland, but apparently no one believes in him as a prospect.

I don't have a problem with the club not having a "long term" first baseman. Having an open 1B position enables the club to take flyers on AAAA mashers or interesting platoons and save money for more difficult positions.
   4. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4348955)
I don't have a problem with the club not having a "long term" first baseman. Having an open 1B position enables the club to take flyers on AAAA mashers or interesting platoons and save money for more difficult positions.

And the last time we went through a situation like this, we ended up with Millar and Ortiz. Sweet! (Okay, and Jeremy Giambi too.)
   5. Toby Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4348962)
I was not at all excited about Napoli at 3/39, even before the failed medical. Seems like the sort of in-between contract (a hefty commitment for a non-elite player) that has not worked out well for the Sox in the past (Lugo, Renteria, etc.).

But if we really have gotten Napoli at 1/5 guaranteed, as reported in TFA(presumably with a boatload of incentives), I'm quite happy.
   6. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4348968)
From the keyboard of Alex Speier:
According to another major league source, the deal is for one year with Napoli getting a $5 million guarantee. The deal includes incentives that could increase the value of the contract back to roughly $13 million if Napoli does not spend any time on the disabled list due to a hip injury.
Hmmm, let's see. Free agent with body part known to be dodgy. Sox sign player to contract that essentially encourages him to hide any injury and play hurt. What could go wrong?!?

At least it's just one year, I guess.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4348975)
1/5 with incentives? Good god. Have they confirmed that Mike Napoli actually has a hip between his midsection and his leg?
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4348978)
My reaction was the same as Nate's. It's just hard to be excited about this. That Napoli accepted such a deal suggests to me that's he is just going to fall apart by Patriot's Day.

This opens things up for some guys in the minors. Third base is currently a position of strength in the organization - Bogaerts (potentially), Middlebrooks, Cecchini, Almanzar are all in varying places of optimism and the possibility that one of those guys could wind up at 1st in a year or two is not totally out of the question.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4348980)
Free agent with body part known to be dodgy. Sox sign player to contract that essentially encourages him to hide any injury and play hurt. What could go wrong?!?


/////throws hip
   10. GregD Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4348983)
Presumably the Union would be ready to appeal if the Sox put him on the DL in an iffy call?
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4348989)
Have they confirmed that Mike Napoli actually has a hip between his midsection and his leg?


Yes, but just one.
   12. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4348996)
1/5 with incentives? Good god. Have they confirmed that Mike Napoli actually has a hip between his midsection and his leg?


This is an great deal for the Sox. $5M is basically ashtray money, bro.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4349004)
Lineup?

Ellsbury L
Victorino S
Pedroia R
Ortiz L
Napoli R
Gomes R
Drew L
Middlebrooks R
Salty S
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4349009)
That looks right to me, with the minor edit that Gomes and Salty probably won't be in the lineup together very much. (If Salty is on the roster). LF and C should be semi-platoon job-sharing arrangements, with Saltalamacchia in particular never ever starting against a left-hander. Gomes/(Nava/Kalish) in left and Ross/Saltalamacchia at C.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4349013)
The one thing I think is likely is that Middlebrooks would bat 6th in your lineup with Gomes and Drew sliding down. I can't imagine him battting 8th.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4349024)
The one thing I think is likely is that Middlebrooks would bat 6th in your lineup with Gomes and Drew sliding down. I can't imagine him battting 8th.


I initially had it like that. But then I wanted to avoid 3 righties in a row, and the L-S-L of Drew-Salty-Ellsbury. And I figured they would start the season at least with the less established guy further down.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4349033)
What's the lineup when injuries hit?

Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Gomes LF
Middlebrooks DH
Ross/Salty C
Gomez 1B
Ciriaco 3B
Iglesias SS
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4349043)
I like the optimism that Ellsbury will stay healthy.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4349053)
Middlebrooks says at 3B, Gomes moves to DH, and Nava or Kalish or Mark Hamilton plays left (and takes some PA at DH).

If the Sox take a terrible beating on injuries for the third year out of four, they probably won't win very many games. But that's something we knew before they acquired this roster. The depth on the club looks fine to me. You can't have good depth everywhere, but they've got a bunch of options. (They're kind of ###### if Middlebrooks gets hurt, though.)
   20. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4349079)
Salty and Sox avoid arb with $4.5M deal for 2013.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4349117)
Salty and Sox avoid arb with $4.5M deal for 2013.


What's the anticipated worth of Salty as trade bait? Filler in a deal centered around a legit prospect? Does Salty alone get the Sox anything?
   22. chris p Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4349118)
(They're kind of ###### if Middlebrooks gets hurt, though.)

gotta imagine bogaerts would be given a look at 3rd if this happens.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4349142)
$5 million? Did his leg fall off or something?
   24. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4349195)
I'm pretty sure Napoli's physical was fine, it's just that Werner and Luccino realized Napoli sex appeal skews to the wrong demographics.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4349220)
This is an great deal for the Sox. $5M is basically ashtray money, bro.


Disengenous post of the day: "Then the Sox traded the NLCS MVP for couch change."
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4349222)
I'm pretty sure Napoli's physical was fine, it's just that Werner and Luccino realized Napoli sex appeal skews to the wrong demographics.


LUCCHINO: We want a player with attitude. He's edgy, he's "in your face." You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this is a player who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

WERNER:
So he's proactive, huh?

LUCCHINO:
Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

FRANCONA:
Excuse me, but "proactive" and "paradigm"? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. I'm fired, aren't I?

LUCCHINO:
Oh, yes.
   27. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4349233)
I'm pretty sure Napoli's physical was fine, it's just that Werner and Luccino realized Napoli sex appeal skews to the wrong demographics.

This.
Bear team trip to the first A's / Red Sox game? YES!
   28. Dale Sams Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4349245)
Bear team trip to the first A's / Red Sox game? YES!


Unfortunatly the real bear is playing for the Yanks now.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4349247)
Bear culture may be challenging and displacing traditional notions of male attractiveness, but ain't nothing making Kevin Youkilis sexy to nobody.
   30. base ball chick Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4349297)
matt

wrong

he has a lot of money and there's PLENTY of females that's all they care about - so what if he looks like a cross between a hippo and a goat and smells like one too. the rest is just stuff to not care about as long as the money is there and he spends it on them.
   31. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4349303)
Afterparty (and pregame) at KF.
   32. attaboy Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4349370)
he has a lot of money and there's PLENTY of females that's all they care about

Glad you said it :)
   33. Greg K Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4349375)
Bear culture may be challenging and displacing traditional notions of male attractiveness, but ain't nothing making Kevin Youkilis sexy to nobody.

He's more of a power bottom.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4349397)
What's the anticipated worth of Salty as trade bait?

This seems quite unlikely at this point. Generally you trade the guy and let the other team come to the arb agreement. I suppose they had to wait to get the Napoli thing sorted but then I'm assuming Napoli's hip means little/no catching and, if Napoli gets hurt, Salty might become part of a rotation at 1B. Trading Salty doesn't look like a good move to me at this point. (Granted, I think LH C who can hit decently are nice pieces to have around so trading him never looked like a good move to me.)

If the Sox fall out of it, they'll certainly be able to trade him ... for whatever a half-season of an average player will bring. If there's a team with a gaping hole at C that might be decent return but probably not.
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4349421)
Walt - I think you make good points but I don't think Salty's arb award is particularly onerous. To the contrary it gives the team that would trade for him some certainty which can be helpful.

The ideal trading partner from a pure baseball standpoint is unfortunately in the Bronx. Saltalamacchia would be a no-brainer to be their starter and is a perfect fit for that ballpark.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4349531)
Walt - I think you make good points but I don't think Salty's arb award is particularly onerous.

I agree -- not onerous at all. I just meant that teams trade the arb guys usually before the tender deadline and certainly before now. I'm sure it's happened but other than maybe some fringe-y reliever types, "major" trades of players after they've come to an arb agreement don't spring to mind. It's not like another team had any more uncertainty about what Salty was gonna cost in 2013. As I said, I can see how the Sox might have been forced into the unusual by the Napoli situation -- they couldn't let Salty go until Napoli came to terms and, by the time that happened, it was pretty much last-minute in terms of signing Salty without an arb hearing.

Anyway, there's not much point in a team tendering a player they don't want if somebody else is willing to take him (and give you something back). The Napoli situation is a curveball here but, otherwise, if you're on a team's 40-man in mid-Jan, they intend to keep you.
   37. Darren Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4349552)
As much as I don't like these deals where they incentivize hiding injuries, this one is pretty harmless. Napoli, at this point, is a flier and they don't have much behind him. It's not like Drew or Lackey (or or or) where the guy keeping himself in the lineup torpedoed their season.
   38. villageidiom Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4349566)
Anyway, there's not much point in a team tendering a player they don't want if somebody else is willing to take him (and give you something back). The Napoli situation is a curveball here but, otherwise, if you're on a team's 40-man in mid-Jan, they intend to keep you.
The Red Sox make their counterpoint with Marco Scutaro.
Free agent with body part known to be dodgy. Sox sign player to contract that essentially encourages him to hide any injury and play hurt. What could go wrong?!?
This one is a little different. When they've done this in the past, it's been on a long-term deal. If Lackey were on a one-year contract, he'd have had no incentive to stay on the roster and suck. Either he stays and performs, or he goes under the knife ASAP so he's ready for the next contract.

While having to waste a one-year contract on an injured player is not ideal, wasting the first two or three years of a long-term deal is worse, for the team.
   39. villageidiom Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4349574)
I agree with Darren in #37. But I can't agree with him 100%, ever. So...

Napoli is now on the equivalent of a Adrian Beltre Memorial Value-Resetting Contract. That's fine. So is Stephen Drew. You could argue that, in a way, Jacoby Ellsbury is as well. And Andrew Bailey.

The reason teams are generally reluctant to sign players in this situation is because it's seen as a bit of a lottery ticket. It's something that could work out well, but you can't really count on it to do so. The Red Sox have 4 lottery tickets. On the plus side, they've increased their chances of one of them working out well. On the minus side, the opportunity for failure is compounded.

The silver lining on the black cloud I found over a different silver lining is that the chance of success is better than with a lottery ticket. And the black cloud above that silver lining is that we're talking about four players with injury potential on a team that wishes their track record with keeping players healthy could be upgraded to "poor".

I think I'll stop there before I hurt myself.
   40. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4349588)
$5 million? Did his leg fall off or something?

Died of leukemia while in hospital following being hit by a drunk driver?
   41. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:15 AM (#4349657)
The Red Sox make their counterpoint with Marco Scutaro.

Fair enough but I think we can safely say that anything and everything the 2012 Red Sox did is not recommended. :-)
   42. Jittery McFrog Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:39 AM (#4349668)
Fair enough but I think we can safely say that anything and everything the 2012 Red Sox did is not recommended. :-)

They fired Bobby V. That part was great.
   43. attaboy Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4349895)
Napoli's agent ought to be fired, BTW.
   44. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4349933)
Napoli's agent ought to be fired, BTW.
Why? Did he personally turn Napoli's hip into a sack of hamburger? It's not as if Napoli turned down a qualifying offer -- the Rangers didn't offer him one.
   45. The District Attorney Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4349979)
I do find it hard to believe that Scott Boras would let himself be negotiated down from $39M/3 yr to $5M/1 yr, even if the guy's hip was a sack of hamburger.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4350032)
Hell, Boras would convince the Sox that Napoli's hip was unique and convince them to add another year at $20 million.
   47. AROM Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4350075)
he has a lot of money and there's PLENTY of females that's all they care about - so what if he looks like a cross between a hippo and a goat and smells like one too. the rest is just stuff to not care about as long as the money is there and he spends it on them.


The Youk charm worked for Tom Brady's sister.
   48. The Good Face Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4350087)
Napoli's agent ought to be fired, BTW.

Why? Did he personally turn Napoli's hip into a sack of hamburger? It's not as if Napoli turned down a qualifying offer -- the Rangers didn't offer him one.


Supposedly the Rangers offered Napoli a 2 year deal before the hip stuff came out, although I don't know that he would have fared any better with their medical staff than he did in Boston.
   49. attaboy Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4350092)
The problem with taking the $5M/1 yr with incentives is that if he plays, the hip won't get magically better. If he doesn't play and fixes the hip (if that is surgically possible), he will get even less next year. Either way, he is undoubtedly looking at less next year, even if his hitting year is similar to last even going from the best AL Hitters park to something less than the best AL hitters park. Let his numbers slip a little add to that his hip condition and his salary continues to decline and he signs for less guaranteeing and less incentives. I didn't remember that he was a Boras client but if he is, this is another negative in Boras' ledger, which is becoming increasingly negative.
   50. attaboy Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4350094)
Supposedly the Rangers offered Napoli a 2 year deal before the hip stuff came out, although I don't know that he would have fared any better with their medical staff than he did in Boston.

Aren't the resigning of players often rubber stamped by the medical staff? They already know his blemishes when they make the offer.
   51. Darren Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4350104)
I didn't remember that he was a Boras client but if he is, this is another negative in Boras' ledger, which is becoming increasingly negative.


How so? He just got a pretty nice deal for Soriano.
   52. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4350126)
I didn't remember that he was a Boras client but if he is, this is another negative in Boras' ledger, which is becoming increasingly negative.


Except he's not a Boras client. Brian Grieper is his agent (I have never heard of Grieper before this).
   53. karlmagnus Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4350138)
I have a suspicion this a piece of Lucchino hardball negotiating and Napoli's not happy about it at all. If so, it will come back to bite the Sox, as it should. Clubhouse chemistry will reach a new low.

Pity; Napoli seems an OK guy and would have been a decent acquisition ((overpaid at 39/3, but he won't think that.)

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