The Boston Red Sox and first baseman Mike Napoli have agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (tweet). Napoli confirmed the report on his own twitter feed, saying, "The beard is coming back to Boston!!!" Bradford notes in a second tweet that many Red Sox urged the front office to offer Napoli this contract.
Napoli, 32, hit .259/.360/.482 last season with 23 home runs and 92 RBI. He played a big role in Boston's championship run, hitting .217/.308/.435 with 2 very important home runs and 7 RBI. After getting off to a slow start in 2013 (.259/.343/.448, 11 HR, 58 RBI), Napoli crushed after the All Star Break, hitting .259/.389/.546 with 12 HR and 34 RBI in about half as many games. The only way Napoli does not hit as well as he did last season was because of his BABIP; Napoli posted a very high .367 BABIP in 2013. This is very high compared to his career .310 BABIP.
Over his career, Napoli's hit .259/.357/.502 in eight years in the big leagues. He has spent time with the Los Angeles Angels (2006-2010), the Rangers (2011-2012), and now the Red Sox (2013-Present). He has always shown pop over his career, as he averages 32 home runs per every 162 games. Napoli is a great power hitter, but also presents some defense at his position. He has posted a career .992 fielding percentage at first base (MLB average at that position: .994), so he can play well defensively and not be a liability there.
The Red Sox should be lucky to have Napoli back, as he was a great producer for them over the 2013 season. Re-signing him was smart for them, as he puts in the effort and work every single day. Mike Napoli is a great guy to have on your team. The Red Sox rewarded him for that, giving him $32 million.