Could Mike Napoli’s deal with the Boston Red Sox be in jeopardy?
The Red Sox anticipated introducing Napoli at a news conference Tuesday, according to major-league sources, but did not go forward with the event.
Napoli, 31, reached agreement with the Red Sox on Dec. 3 on a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract, pending a physical.
Initial reports from ESPN.com and the Providence Journal said that Napoli’s physical was scheduled for last Wednesday, with an announcement expected at week’s end.
Napoli, according to a source, actually underwent the physical more recently. His deal, however, is still not official.
Taken purely at face value, this story sounds like a bunch of speculatory nothingness, but this is Rosenthal we're talking about, and I suspect that we wouldn't be seeing this story pop up online if there wasn't more to the story than his introductory presser being delayed.
Napoli, of course, suffered a severe left ankle sprain in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, and has also been dinged up with quad and oblique issues in the last couple of years. Shortly after the Red Sox reached an agreement with Napoli, we heard that the Rangers maxed out at two years with a third-year option in their own negotiations with Napoli, and, per one report, the amount of guaranteed money Texas offered Napoli was less than half than his $39 million bounty from Boston. I took that to mean that the Rangers maxed out around two years, $18-19 million with a third-year option worth around $10-11 million.
Now, with this latest development, we're left to wonder if there were health-related reasons behind the Rangers' seemingly low offer on Napoli (and, for that matter, their refusal to extend Napoli even a one-year qualifying offer), and if there's any way that Texas could be re-involved in the (still unlikely) event that the Napoli-to-Boston deal collapses altogether.