Bradford: Red Sox "Close" To Signing Mike Napoli

Jim Rogash

The Red Sox are reportedly closing in on a contract with free agent Mike Napoli

The Red Sox have been waiting for Mike Napoli to blink and accept a three-year deal to be their first baseman, and according to WEEI's Rob Bradford, that is just what's happening now. Napoli is believed to be "closing in" on a deal with Boston that would put him in Fenway for the next three seasons.

There's no word on the exact terms yet, other than the reported three-year contract length. Given he wasn't extended a qualifying offer, though, it's likely safe to assume the average annual value is below the $13.3 million threshold of those one-year deals.

Napoli is a right-handed power hitter with low batting averages, but he more than makes up for it with power against pitchers of either handedness, as well as the kind of patience that the Red Sox lineup is in need of. While he fits in as a catcher or a first baseman, Boston has five catchers on their 40-man roster and up to three capable of being in the majors, while they have nothing going on at first. Unless something surprising occurs this off-season, Napoli would be the primary first baseman.

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