Red Sox Sign Napoli

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:

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.

Comments (35)

  1. No one expected the Sux to stand pat, but maybe they’ll surprise and field a more-than-decent team this year. Lineup is starting to round into form if they make both acquisitions

  2. Sox will be decent at the plate as always. Pitching, like all teams, is what is going to make or break them.

  3. If the Jays are interested in moving a catcher I guess the Sox will give them some competition now.

    Still don’t understand why the Rangers didn’t make Napoli a qualifying offer.

  4. Meh. Question shifts to: what’s the trade price/value for Salty? Do teams want JP more now?

    • They’ll keep Salty and play Napoli at first.


      Not a ton of difference at the plate. Behind it is interesting. The two year total on FanGraphs isn’t close. However, the 2012 numbers are much closer and on Baseball Reference JP is quite a bit ahead for 2012.

      Also Salty has 2 years remaining with his 2nd and 3rd years of arbitration eligibility which can get expensive and JP has 1 pre arb year with 3 arb years for 4 years of control in total.

  5. I think the Red Sox have the right idea by targetting above average players on shorter term deals like Napoli & Swisher.

    But it’s going to be a pretty big budget for what is likely a .500 team at best unless they somehow sign Greinke and a midrotation starter.

  6. Exactly Grienke is not going there at all due to media pressure and his anxiety of playing in a big market

  7. How many games does Napoli get behind the plate?

  8. Sox like dead pull hitter beer league guys I guess.

    In other news, reports from the winter meetings are saying that ARod needs hip surgery on the other hip and will likely be out until July. This will have an impact on the FA and trade markets.

  9. I like napoli, but I dont see this acquisition turning around the red sox fortunes too much.

    • There’s always the John Farrell will fuck it up factor managing games

    • Maybe it won’t.
      Wait till Farrett tells Napoli to bunt the runner over 15 times in a row.

    • The problem is the BoSox still have a lot of money to play around with after what they unloaded last year. If they choose to spend it on contending now, they can certainly stack up against the Jays or any team.

      • The Jays trade was something special, teams can’t just go out and stack a team just coz they have the cash, these things take time. I’m sure they can make themselves better but to turn into a contender overnight like the Jays? I’m not worried.. The sox are running scared lol

  10. I’m not really sure the onus is on Rogers here to make another move. They’ve already upped the payroll to $120M, and I’m not sure they’re willing to go up to the $140M range to get another impact player from the FA market. If AA feels he needs another core player to stay ahead of the rest of the division, Rogers wouldn’t be totally out of line to tell him he should’ve thought of that before he spent over $150M on Reyes and Buehrle.

    The onus is on AA to find an upgrade on the roster through trade. I’m crossing my fingers for Morse!

    • If you look at the way the payroll is structured and the big raises coming up in 2014 and beyond, the payroll is on track to be $140 million+ pretty soon.

      Now, a lot of what has been going on with the Jays could be in anticipation of the increased national TV money that teams will be receiving shortly.

      But I think it’s also possible that they sign a 1 year $10 mil pitcher and bring the 2013 payroll up to $130 mil.

      It also wouldn’t shock me if they went out and signed Greinke for 5/125 or so and traded Buehrle for a prospect. Anything’s possible with a non-shackled AA as GM.

      • 1) What pitchers are there available at 1 year $10M that are significant upgrades over what we have

        2) I don’t know why everyone is still asking for another starting pitcher. There’s nothing wrong with Happ. In fact, there’s good reason to believe he’s a 2+ WAR pitcher right now. The place where we need an upgrade is at DH where we have the replacement level Lind. Getting a 2-3 WAR DH will gain 2-3 wins, whereas getting a 2-3 WAR pitcher will gain 1 win at best.

        3) Therefore, I want Morse (or Billy Butler). Personally, I’d love to see AA trade Buehrle (plus a decent prospect and $10M cash) for either of these guys. Then use the $20-$30M you save from Buehrle on signing Marcum or Dempster, or someone of that ilk. But AA seems to like Buehrle a lot more than I do…

        • People are asking for another pitcher for at least two reasons: 1) there pitchers better than Happ that do not require a serious commitment (in dollars or years) and 2) the SP depth after Happ is very thin. Adding another pitcher either ahead or behind Happ would go a long way to surviving a season. You need more than 5 quality SPs to compete.

  11. kman: The money is there if AA wants it.

  12. Haha redsox. Please sign Swisher too. And pray that Farrell magically rewinds your pitching staff back to a working state. Maybe even fixes Bard. Haha again.

  13. Red Sox don’t have that bad of a team.

  14. red sox sign “name I know” resentment builds, anger mounts. “let us have this year” he thinks, looks at jays roster, *yao ming face*

  15. Coulda seen something like this coming,
    Boston’s dumped a shitload of payroll and seen the Jays load up in their division – so it was just a matter of time before they went balls-in for a move or two.
    I’m still hoping for a severe case of Nigerian Jungle Crotch Rot to invade their locker room for most of the season….but hey, I’m just that kind of fan.

  16. Well the Red Sox aren’t going to go into 2013 with a $60 mil payroll or whatever it is they’re at now. So a move like this makes sense for them.

    I still think they need to do a full scale rebuild though. When you were as barren as the Red Sox were by the end of 2012, you can’t just rebuild through FA.

  17. I’m not worried about a Sox team that is shaping up to be an all star beer league lineup.

  18. I am impressed with the effort you have so obviously put into this content. I am also impressed with your point of view on this topic, especially since you have made your points so clear.

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