Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli appears to be the Boston Red Sox No. 1 target over fellow free agents such as Nick Swisher and Adam LaRoche.
Napoli, at the moment, appears to be the team’s No. 1 target over outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher, a switch-hitter, first baseman Adam LaRoche, a left-handed hitter, and others.
While some teams view Napoli primarily as a catcher, his role "would be more of a question" with the Red Sox. After signing free agent backstop David Ross, the team has three catchers on its roster with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway.
The Red Sox could trade one of Saltalamacchia or Lavarnway which would free up more playing time behind the plate for Napoli, but Ross is expected to be "more than a backup but not a starter," according to Rosenthal. For this reason he believes Napoli "probably would be more of a first baseman than a catcher" if he were to sign with the Red Sox.
Last season for the Texas Rangers Napoli hit .227/.343/.469 with nine doubles, two triples and 24 home runs over 352 at-bats.