Red Sox still not complete with Napoli

Red Sox still not complete with Napoli
December 28, 2012, 1:15 am

Many Orioles fans probably remember the tale of Xavier Hernandez. He was a free-agent pitcher picked up by the Orioles in the off-season 14 years ago. The club announced the signing, but during a medical exam discovered he had an injured shoulder. Owner Peter Angelos then nixed the deal, and Hernandez never pitched for Baltimore. But because the O’s had announced a signing, they ended up having to pay him most of the agreed-upon salary.

The Red Sox won’t be stuck paying Mike Napoli, but, similar to Hernandez, they said they had agreed to a deal with the free-agent first baseman. That was more than three weeks ago. In the meantime, the Red Sox discovered Napoli had a hip injury. Boston decided it wanted to change the terms on a three-year, $39 million contract Napoli had agreed to, the Boston Globe reports.

Unfortunately for Napoli, the Affordable Care Act can’t help you with this kind of pre-existing condition.

So, while the Red Sox and Napoli wait out each other, the hot-stove talk turns to how Boston is interested in Nationals free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. This could just be a negotiating ploy. New manager John Farrell said the Red Sox are still focused on completing a contract with Napoli.

“We’re hopeful he is in a Red Sox uniform, but there are still things to work through,” Farrell said this week. "The thing that has not changed is Mike Napoli is a clear-cut target for us. We’re not turning the page on this situation as of today, and that’s not to allude that at some point in the future we’re going to. But our goal … is to get something worked out and a deal in place.”