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Mike Napoli signing with Red Sox finally official

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer
Napoli heads to Boston, where he's had great success. (US Presswire)

As was reported five days ago, the Red Sox and free-agent slugger Mike Napoli agreed to a one-year, $5-million deal. The deal was made official by the Red Sox on Tuesday, and that's especially newsworthy in this case.

All the way back on Dec. 3, every Boston and many others in the media reported that Napoli had agreed to sign with the Red Sox for three years and $39 million. But weeks and weeks passed without an official announcement, so we all knew something was afoot. It turned out there was an issue with his hip (UPDATE: It's avascular necrosis), which was discovered by the club during his physical. So the terms were reworked and finally agreed upon -- with $34 million less in Napoli's pocket.

But this one-year deal is official, so Napoli is now a member of the Red Sox.

Expect Napoli to get the majority of the starts at first base for the Red Sox, who already have Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross to handle catching duties.

Napoli, 31, hit .227/.343/.469 with 24 homers and 56 RBI last season for the Rangers. In 2011, Napoli had a career year, hitting .320/.414/.631 with 30 homers and 75 RBI in only 113 games. He has had great success in his new home. In 73 career plate appearances in Fenway Park, Napoli is hitting .306/.397/.710 with seven homers and 17 RBI.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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