Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Acquiring David Ross hasn't stopped the Red Sox from pursuing the catcher/first baseman.
David Ross isn't about to turn the Red Sox away from Mike Napoli.
Lack of production a season ago? Injury issues? Positional question marks? All fair concerns when viewing Napoli as a potential fit. But the addition of another catcher isn't going to dissuade the Sox from testing the free agent waters when it comes to the 31-year-old.
The Red Sox are no longer in the market for a catcher -- and may be in the process of shopping one of their incumbent backstops -- but the club still needs a first baseman, and Bradford posits that Boston views Napoli first and foremost as an answer to that need.
The righty-slugging catcher had a bit of a down year at the plate in 2012 -- hitting .227/.343/.469 with twenty-four home runs -- but is considered a solid power bat and has always found ways to get on base. It is unclear whether Napoli would agree to play for a team that views him as primarily a first baseman, but it's not as though he does not have experience at the position. Napoli has played one hundred thirty-three games at first over the past three seasons.