While the Boston Red Sox remain hopeful that they’ll be able to work through their current issues and reach an agreement with first baseman Mike Napoli, general manager Ben Cherington told Jim Bowden of ESPN that there is still no deal in place with the slugger:
Ben Cherington told us that there is simply no deal with Mike Napoli right now but remain hopeful they can work thru issues to get it done— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) January 9, 2013
Cherington added that the Red Sox continue to be in the market for offense at the first base position, as Napoli remains a free agent.
Boston had an agreement in place with the former Texas Rangers’ catcher on a three-year contract. However, Napoli’s physical caused the Red Sox to rethink the potential deal, and sides have been unable to finalize a contract.
The Red Sox created a hole at the first base position last summer when they included Adrian Gonzalez in the bevy of players they sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston also recently shipped potential first base candidate Jerry Sands to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade that netted them right-handed closer Joel Hanrahan.
Napoli has battle injuries throughout his career, as the 31-year-old has only registered more than 400 at-bats in a season once. Last year he hit .227/.343/.469 with nine doubles, two triples and 24 home runs over 352 at-bats.