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Mike Napoli free agency: Rockies join Red Sox in pursuit of first baseman

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The Rockies are one of the teams trying to lure Mike Napoli away from Boston.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies are one of the teams joining the Red Sox in pursuit of free agent first baseman Mike Napoli according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. He is not their only target, though, with James Loney also in contention for the spot vacated by the retiring Todd Helton.

It's becoming clearer by the day that Napoli's return to Boston is not the foregone conclusion it may once have seemed to be. Despite a degenerative hip condition and the qualifying offer extended by the Red Sox, Napoli has received interest from multiple teams. While there have been reports that the Red Sox have been discussing a multi-year deal with Napoli, it's not entirely clear that's the case, with about the same number of reports denying they've made any such offer.

Napoli, 32, hit .259/.360/.482 in 578 plate appearances for the Red Sox before adding a muted-but-important contribution to their World Series run in October. There are a few red flags, such as Napoli's difficulties making contact and a high BABIP, but with a dearth of available talent at the position, Napoli has still drawn plenty of interest.

Napoli has expressed his desire to stay in Boston, and has continued to make (fully clothed) appearances in the area, most recently taking in Wednesday night's Celtics game. But in the end if another team gets desperate enough to significantly outbid the Red Sox, it could simply come down to the numbers on the check.

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