The Red Sox and Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract 36 days ago, but as of today, that deal is not official. Reportedly, a problem with Napoli's hip in the physical is the hold up, and the two sides are working to add language that appeases both into the pre-existing agreement. The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham reports that the Red Sox are "hopeful" of getting the deal done.
While this isn't news, at a time when there's nothing official as of yet, and for this length of time, hearing an update that says the opposite of "negotiations are falling apart" is something positive to hold on to by virtue of not being a negative. The Red Sox haven't seriously spoken to other potential first base options, there have been no rumors of trades to bring in a bat, and Napoli's side hasn't exploded contracts with other clubs. Both sides seemingly want to get a deal done, but it just hasn't happened yet. That's frustrating, but it's closer to having Mike Napoli than to not having him.
This isn't the longest delay for an injury-related contract clause in Boston's history, as it took 52 days -- just shy of two full months -- for J.D. Drew's five-year, $70 million deal to be completed. That doesn't make the wait on Napoli any easier, but at least this isn't unprecedented.