Winning a World Series can be a lot of fun, and nobody had more fun celebrating than Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. The Red Sox first baseman tweeted the following on Friday night:
— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) December 7, 2013
Napoli’s deal is reported to be a two year deal worth $32 million. Originally when the Red Sox signed Napoli last year, they had agreed on 3 years for $39 million, but after a physical which found that the right handed slugger had a hip problem, the deal fell through, and the team eventually agreed to a one year deal worth $13 million. With that deal and the new one, Napoli will make more money than the original deal.
Napoli was a leader in the clubhouse for the 2013 World Champions, and he had the biggest beard on the team, and is one of the few players to say he will not be shaving his beard. According to Napoli, the beard has become “part of him.”
Before the Red Sox signed Napoli, it was reported he had interest from both the Texas Rangers, who he played with in 2011, and 2012, and the Miami Marlins. He reportedly got an offer from one of those teams and went back to the Red Sox and told them they needed to either match or exceed that offer.
[Update 9:55pm 12/6/2013: It's now being reported Napoli turned down a higher offer from another team to stay with the Red Sox]
On Friday afternoon, multiple reports surfaced that the Marlins and first base free agent Garrett Jones were close to agreeing to terms. That meant that it was between either the Red Sox or Rangers. In the end the Red Sox were able to get Napoli to stay in Boston.
Napoli had made it clear he wanted to stay in Boston during multiple interviews during and after the World Series, unlike Jarrod Saltalamachhia, who kept saying it wasn’t up to him if he stayed or not. Saltalamachhia signed a contract with the Marlins after the Red Sox picked up AJ Pierzynski earlier in the week. Napoli has stayed in the city since the season ended and has been spotted at multiple Bruins and Celtics games.
After the World Series win, Napoli was seen around Boston celebrating at multiple bars, and even showed up to some without a shirt on. He hit .259 last season for the Red Sox with 23 homeruns and 92 RBI’s despite setting the single season Red Sox record for strikeouts with 187.
Napoli is the first Red Sox free agent the team has re-signed, and Salty and Ellsbury have signed elsewhere. The Red Sox still have work to do this offseason. Although GM Ben Cherington said he thinks Jackie Bradley Jr is ready to be the full time centerfielder next season, he might still try to improve the outfield either through free agency, or via a trade.
If you plan on heading out this weekend, be on the lookout for Napoli who might be celebrating his signing.