NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Free-agent catcher Mike Napoli is headed to the Boston Red Sox on a 3-year, $39 million deal, an MLB source confirmed. The deal is pending a physical.
Napoli, who met with the Red Sox the weekend after Thanksgiving, was looking for a multi-year deal and got the three years from Boston. It averages to $13 million per season. The Rangers decided not to make a qualifying offer of $13.3 million to Napoli, so they won't receive any draft-pick compensation in return.
Napoli hit .227 in 2012, but had 24 homers and 56 RBIs with 53 runs. That was a drop-off from his production in 2011, when he had a memorable second half, hitting .383 and performing well in the postseason.
The Rangers agreed to terms with catcher Geovany Soto last night, according to a source. The deal is for $2.75 million with $250,000 in incentives, another MLB source said. So that gives Texas a backstop, but they still need another. It's a thin free-agent market, though A.J. Pierzynski is still available. Perhaps the Rangers will look at the trade market. The Blue Jays have a surplus of catchers and perhaps would part with John Buck or J.P. Arencibia. We'll see.
By the way, Napoli has enjoyed Fenway Park in a small sample size. He has a .306 average and a .710 slugging percentage in 19 games with seven homers and 17 RBIs.