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Red Sox fans can breathe easy now, Mike Napoli is coming back to Boston. Despite getting a larger offer from another team Napoli chose to come back to where he was comfortable on a 2 year $32 million dollar deal. The $16 million dollar AAV is a raise on the $13 million he made last season. Overall he will make $45 million in told in his three seasons in Boston.
Before the Red Sox were able to retain Napoli’s services, they had to fight off other potential suitors which included the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners. One of the big factors for the bearded first baseman’s deal was the health of his hips as it was last season which brought his original 3 year $39 million deal to 1 one $5 million plus $8 million in incentives.
Napoli’s return is important for the Red Sox because now they have a player who is capable of protecting David Ortiz. Napoli also epitomized the Red Sox organization’s ideal hitter by grinding out at-bats and taking his walks. In all Napoli hit 259/.360/.482 with 23 homers in 578 PA and should be expected to give similar production next year.
Mike Napoli himself confirmed his return to Boston tweeting “The beard is coming back to Boston!!!” after the deal was completed by his agent Brian Grieper. Now that Napoli is back in the fold the Red Sox can focus on shoring up other parts of the team, as well as figuring out the left side of their infield. With the Baseball Winter Meetings right around the corner the hot stove is just heating up and should be ablaze next week.