Negotiations between the Boston Red Sox and free agent Mike Napoli continue with the start of spring training quickly approaching, leading Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe to wonder if the team should look to acquire another first baseman or convert someone in-house to the position.
In describing Napoli's hip condition, a major league source told Cafardo that "It’s one of those things where it could go anytime or five years from now. Nobody really knows, which is why the Red Sox want strong language after putting $40 million on the table for him."
For this reason, the Red Sox are trying to protect themselves from throwing money away. There have been talks of the team looking into potential fallback options in case Napoli isn’t signed, and Cafardo believes one could be Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.
Morneau is entering the final year of his contract. While the Twins are expected to hold onto him at least until the summer, Boston could attempt to convince Minnesota otherwise if they’re unable to finalize a deal with Napoli.
Cafardo also believes the Red Sox could look to convert outfielder Daniel Nava to first base. In his first significant opportunity at the major league level Nava hit .243/.352/.390 over 267 at-bats last season. The 29-year-old has never played first base at the professional level.