Mike Napoli’s deal with the Boston Red Sox might be shrinking.
The free agent catcher/first baseman and the team are closing in on a one-year contract, according to ESPNBoston.com. Napoli and the Red Sox agreed to terms on a three-year, $39 million deal last month at the winter meetings, but the contract was never signed, reportedly because the 31-year-old veteran failed his physical due to a hip injury.
CBS Sports reported that Boston’s deal with Napoli is expected to be completed no later than next week, adding that Napoli has spoken with other teams in the past month.
The Red Sox signed Napoli with the intention of making him their first baseman. Adrian Gonzalez began last season at that position for Boston, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25. The first baseman who joined the Red Sox in the swap, James Loney, signed with the Rays as a free agent after the season.
Napoli batted a career-low .227 last year for the Texas Rangers, though he hit 24 home runs and drove in 56 runs in 108 games. He earned his first All-Star Game appearance.
Over seven major league seasons, the first five with the Los Angeles Angels, Napoli has a .259 average with a .356 on-base percentage, a .507 slugging percentage, 146 homers and 380 RBI.