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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Cherington won't confirm Napoli deal

By Joe McDonald

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Thursday night that there's nothing official to report on the Mike Napoli situation.

"Hopefully soon, but it won’t be in the next couple of days,” Cherington said.

Even though it’s been reported that the Red Sox and Napoli agreed on a one-year deal worth $5 million plus incentives that could take it to $13 million, Cherington did not confirm the deal.

“No, but we’re making some progress,” he said. “It’s fair to say we’ve made some progress the last day or so. Hopefully we’ll have something more formal to say soon, but not tonight.”

At no point since the winter meetings in December has Cherington had any doubt the deal would get done, he said.

“I don’t know if doubtful was a word that I thought about. We’ve kept talking the entire time and when there’s dialogue there’s always a chance to get somewhere. It means there’s some interest on both sides, there’s a chance, and you’re hopeful. Hopefully we are getting somewhere."

The Red Sox and Napoli had originally settled on a three-year contract worth $39 million before the deal began to crumble due to a hip issue. Now that the sides are on the verge of a one-year deal, Cherington said there’s no animosity between the sides.

"I think it’s good. I think there will be a time to talk about that more, but we tried and did have a consistent dialogue throughout the winter and a lot of conversations. But I think there will be a chance to talk about that more hopefully soon."

Cherington and Red Sox manager John Farrell participated in the Red Sox’s annual offseason Town Hall on Thursday night. This year it was staged at La Salle Academy.

For his part, Farrell said he's hoping the Napoli deal does get done.

“I know there’s some progress being made with Mike, so hopefully that continues to head in that directions and we’ve got more of a look of who we’re going to have report to camp in Fort Myers here in three weeks.”