December 6, 2013

Napoli re-signs with Red Sox for $32 million

The slugging first baseman, who hit several huge postseason home runs, gets a 2-year deal.

From staff reports

Mike Napoli took to Twitter on Friday night to announce he was returning to the Boston Red Sox.

click image to enlarge

Mike Napoli hits a double that scored three runs in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Napoli has re-signed with the Red Sox.

File photo/The Associated Press/David J. Phillip

“The beard is coming back to Boston!” he tweeted. “Couldn’t be happier!”

Napoli, the slugging first baseman who helped the Red Sox win the World Series in six games over the St. Louis Cardinals, accompanied the tweet with a self-portrait.

According to several Boston media reports, the 32-year-old Napoli signed a two-year deal worth $32 million.

Napoli, who signed a one-year $5 million contract with Boston last year, hit .259 with 23 home runs and 92 RBI. He also had 38 doubles.

While he was a prolific strikeout batter – fanning 187 times in the regular season – he also was a clutch hitter who delivered in late innings. He was a much better defensive player at first base than anyone could have predicted after primarily being a catcher in his first seven seasons.

Napoli came through with several big hits in the playoffs, especially in the American League Championship Series against Detroit, when he hit two home runs. His homer off Justin Verlander was Game 3’s only run.

Napoli originally signed a three-year $39 million contract with the Red Sox in December 2012, but a degenerative hip condition was discovered during a physical and the two sides agreed to renegotiate.

That’s when he agreed to his one-year contract for $5 million, with several incentives.

The Seattle Mariners were also reported to be involved in negotiations with Napoli.

Prior to coming to Boston, Napoli played five seasons with the Angels and two seaons with the Texas Rangers.

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