BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been nearly a month since the Red Sox and free agent first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli reportedly agreed to a three-year, $39-million deal, but nothing has been made official.
According to various reports, Boston is concerned with Napoli’s health — mainly a lingering hip issue — and trying to add some protection on their end into the deal.
General Manager Ben Cherington has been mum on the situation, but manager John Farrell gave his thoughts when he joined Dave Goucher and Dan Roche on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday.
“That is still being worked on. As Ben has mentioned, there are no updates in terms of where that situation exists. We’re hopeful he is in a Red Sox uniform, but there are still things to work through,” Farrell said.
‘The thing that has not changed is Mike Napoli is a clear-cut target for us,” Farrell added. “We’re not turning the page on this situation as of today, and that’s not to elude somewhere in the future we’re going to. But our goal, and Ben’s goal, is to get something worked out and a deal in place.”
Gallery: Red Sox Off-Season Moves
If/when a deal gets done, is Farrell confident at having Napoli at first base despite most of his experience coming from behind the plate?
“For what he’s showed us yes,” said Farrell. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have targeted him. We feel confident (in) his athleticism and how he moves around the base. He does need work and repetition there, but we felt like putting that bat in the middle of the lineup, at first base, was an upgrade for us.”