A reunion between the Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli may not be certain after all. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the team has made a multi-year offer to the first baseman, but he has indicated that he will talk to other teams and explore the market instead of immediately accepting.
This seems to rule out the possibility of Napoli accepting the one-yeat, $14.1 million qualifying offer that was extended to him on Monday.
Napoli, 32, is expected to draw interest from many teams looking for a right-handed hitting power bat this offseason.
After signing an incentive-laden contract with the Red Sox last offseason, he hit .259 with 23 HR and 92 RBI while proving that his hip disorder, avacular necrosis, will not affect his play going forward.
According to Jen Royle of Boston Herald Radio, the Orioles are expected to be among the teams who will make a strong run at signing Napoli this offseason. Royle also noted that Napoli would love to stay in Boston, where he has become a fan favorite after winning a World Series championship in his first season with the team.
As Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported earlier in the week, the Mariners will not be pursuing Napoli this offseason. With vacancies at first base plaguing many teams throughout the league, he will likely be a hot commodity on the free agent market.