The Red Sox and first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli are working on a one-year deal, according to ESPN.com.
Boston originally agreed in principle to a three-year, $39 million-dollar deal with Napoli on the first day of the Winter Meetings, but the condition of Napoli’s hip became a concern when the 31-year-old took his physical.
Napoli has power to all fields and has been terrific in 62 career regular season at-bats at Fenway, hitting .306 with a .397 on-base percentage, .710 slugging percentage, 1.107 OPS, seven homers, 17 RBIs and four doubles.
Napoli is a patient, selective hitter who works pitchers deep into counts and gets on base. His best season came in 2011, when he belted 30 homers, drove in 75 runs and batted .320 with a .414 on-base percentage, .631 on-base percentage and 1.046 OPS in 113 games.
His numbers dropped last year though. He batted just .227 with 24 homers, 56 RBIs and .343 on-base percentage. He played in 108 games, spending time on the DL with a strained left quad muscle.
Napoli has spent the majority of his career at catcher with 485 starts there compared to 118 starts at first base. But he mainly will play first base for the Red Sox who enter spring training with Mauro Gomez as the only other real option to play first. But Gomez, 28, isn’t considered an everyday major league starter.