Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington’s search for a new first baseman is over, but he did not find a new first baseman. He re-signed Mike Napoli. MLB.com’s Cash Kruth reports that Napoli and the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal, and CBS Sports.com’s Mike Axisa says that it is for two years and $32 million. Napoli tweeted the news late Friday evening.
— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) December 7, 2013
This is a big deal in Beantown. The Red Sox have already lost three big-name free agents to their fiercest rivals, the New York Yankees. First, the Yankees grabbed catcher Brian McCann. Recently, they signed former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. On Friday night, they won the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes by signing Beltran to a three-year, $45 million contract. The Yankees have added a lot of offense, and they needed to after losing Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners and Curtis Granderson to the New York Mets.
Now, the Red Sox retain one of their best power hitters in 2013. Napoli hit .259 but blasted 23 home runs and drove in 73 runs. He would have driven more if David Ortiz had not already done so ahead of him. His performance was enough to earn him the #8 free agent ranking on CBS Sports.com. He brings his power back to Fenway Park, and he is very much over his hip injury that held him to a one-year contract in the previous offseason. Now that he is healthy, he has essentially gotten the three years that he wanted before.
Napoli said in his tweet that he “couldn’t be happier” to return to Boston. Cherington and Red Sox fans are just as happy.