Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Boston Red Sox back on Dec. 3, but Napoli and the team are currently discussing the possibility of shortening the length of the deal to one year because of concerns about Napoli’s hip, ESPN.com reported.
If the two sides agree to the amended contract, Napoli would get only one guaranteed year, according to the report, although there may be provisions made if Napoli reaches a certain number of plate appearances or does not go on the disabled list.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told the Boston Herald he was optimistic an agreement with Napoli could be reached soon, although he offered no specifics.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier Friday that the Red Sox have made inquiries regarding the Washington Nationals’ Michael Morse if an agreement with Napoli cannot be reached.
SOX NOTES: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and DH David Ortiz may not be available to play in the World Baseball Classic because of injuries suffered last season. The deadline to submit provisional WBC rosters is Jan. 16. Typically, MLB frowns upon teams dissuading their players from competing in the WBC unless they ended the previous season with injuries. That seemingly would eliminate Pedroia (thumb, pinky finger) and 3B Will Middlebrooks (broken right wrist) from consideration for the U.S. team, in addition to Ortiz (strained Achilles) for the Dominican Republic and LHP Franklin Morales (shoulder) for Venezuela. But several other Red Sox may draw interest from their countries, including RF Shane Victorino (U.S.), LHP Jon Lester (U.S.), RHP Clay Buchholz (U.S.), RHP Ryan Dempster (Canada) and LHP Felix Doubront (Venezuela).