The Red Sox have made their first big splash of the Winter Meetings, inking Mike Napoli to a three-year deal worth $39-million, according to… um… everybody. (MLBTR has the details.)
Napoli will make for an excellent fit in Boston’s joke park, and it’s big for the Red Sox, I think, that they didn’t have to go to four years to get a deal done. I’d ask what the hell happened there, Seattle, but apparently even they don’t know: Rob Bradford of WEEI tweets that he caught up with Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and asked him if he was aware that the Red Sox and Napoli had been so close to a deal. “I had no idea. None at all,” he said.
Word on the street has been that the Red Sox were looking to invest their capital a little more wisely, after they were able to divest themselves of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford mid-season, and this certainly fits that concept nicely– though it’s not like it’s a slam dunk that Napoli returns to his 2010 form just because he’ll be playing home games at Fenway, as many are falling all over themselves to suggest, pulling out all kinds of “small sample size, but…” nonsense and ignoring the park factor in Arlington in the process.
Speaking of, Buster Olney brings up an interesting point about the usually-savvy Rangers:
It would be interesting to hear TEX internal review of whether it made right choice in not giving Napoli qualifying offer to get draft pick
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2012
And, unfortunately for Jays fans, another tidy piece of business for their division rivals could be on the horizon…
Doesn’t mean they’ll be able to pitch– OH, but John Farrell has the magic juice that’s gonna fix Lester and Buchholz, right? That’s totally not laughable, right?– but it would be another excellent fit, and another much smarter use of their resources, I think, than Josh Hamilton.
Don’t sit on your hands, Rogers.
The other potential impact here is the fact that the Sox, like the Jays, have a surplus behind the plate, and according to a tweet from Jon Heyman, will be shopping Jarrod Saltalamacchia– potentially cutting into the Jays market. Of course, the years of control remaining put JP Arencibia well ahead of Salty when it comes to actual, tangible value, though– as we’ve discussed probably far too much already– it’s unclear whether the Jays will try to trade him at all.
So… there’s that.