BOSTON (CBS) – With the Red Sox’ deal with Mike Napoli in limbo, the team is currently looking at another option at first base.
According to SB Nation’s Jen Royle, the Red Sox are talking with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. The 33-year-old is coming off a career year with the Washington Nationals in 2012, setting new career-highs with 33 home runs and 100 RBIs.
LaRoche has his sights set on a three-year deal, which is reportedly what has kept him from returning to Washington. The Red Sox have brought both two and three-year deals with LaRoche, but he reportedly won’t budge from his three-year request.
Signing LaRoche would also cost Boston a second-round draft pick (their first-round pick is protected), as the Nationals made a qualifying offer to the free agent. So far this off-season, the Red Sox have not had to surrender a draft pick for any of the five free agents they have signed.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Red Sox would prefer to finalize their deal with Napoli, which has been on hold for nearly a month due to concerns about the first baseman/catcher’s hip. The two sides reportedly agreed to a three-year, $39-million deal in early December, but Boston is trying to put some protective language in the contract in case the injury pops up somewhere down the road.
Rosenthal points out that Boston talking with LaRoche could be to put pressure on Napoli to accept the new language in the deal, as well as LaRoche putting the squeeze on the Nationals.
So while their preference is to finalize the Napoli deal, the Red Sox are at least exploring other options should that deal fall through.