3 Dec 2012
Word on the street is that Mike Napoli is going to get $13mm per season for 3-years from the Red Sox. That’s a ton of scratch for a .227 hitter (in 2012) who isn’t very good defensively. Still, I like this deal. 3 years isn’t a ton and while it is more than I’d like to pay, the Red Sox don’t have anyone internally nearly is capable as Napoli to play first base.
Napoli has power (career 507 SLG) and on-base potential (career .354 OBP). He strikes out a bunch, but otherwise isn’t a pushover in the line-up. Ideally Napoli would be in the 6th spot, but with this team, he could be a 5.
Even though he isn’t particularly gifted in the field, he can catch and play first base, which means almost certainly Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Ryan Lavarnway will be moved, otherwise you’ll have 3 full-time catchers (David Ross) and a part time catcher on the roster. That’s, you know, too many catchers.
The other reason I like this is because Napoli has killed the Red Sox in the past as I alluded to 2 months ago.
So here is the line-up if the season started today:
c – Salty
1b – Napoli
2b – Pedroia
3b – Middlebrooks
ss – Iglasias
lf – Gomes
cf – Ellsbury
rf – Kalish
dh – Ortiz
It doesn’t inspire fear, but it’s a start.