Mike Napoli to meet with Red Sox; Rangers, Mariners reportedly also in pursuit
The free agent is a good fit for Boston. Jim Duquette of Sirius/XM reported there are also meetings with Seattle and Texas.
Napoli has at least three teams in pursuit, including the Mariners and incumbent Rangers. Jim Duquette of Sirius/XM reported Napoli already met with the Mariners and has a meeting slated for Texas sometime this coming week.
The Red Sox's interest in Napoli is no surprise. He has been a Red Sox killer throughout his career and has a lifetime 1.107 OPS at Fenway Park, which fits his righty pull swing.
Boston has already signed catcher David Ross and right-handed hitter Jonny Gomes this winter, but envisions Napoli as a first baseman/catcher hybrid. With Ross already in the fold, a Napoli signing would mean the Red Sox have to trade one of their catchers, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia would be most likely to go. Ryan Lavarnway is the well-regarded catching prospect.
The Rangers didn't make Napoli the $13.3 million qualifying offer but remain interested.
Napoli had an extraordinary 1.046 OPS in 2011 when he helped lead the Rangers to Game 7 of the World Series, which he caught with a mangled ankle. His offense is good enough that he could play first base as well, and he's seen as a hybrid now, someone to play both first and catch. His batting average fell in 2012 from .320 to .227 but he still posted an .812 OPS.
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