Merloni: Is Napoli health long- or short-term concern?

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Merloni: Is Napoli health long- or short-term concern?

As the Mike Napoli saga drags on, Lou Merloni weighs in on what the Red Sox should do.

Merloni says before the Sox can make a decision, they need to find out if Napoli's injury issues are long-term issues or short-term issues.

If they're long-term issues, Merloni believes the Sox can put in some protective language so if an injury does crop up in the next 2-3 years, they're covered.

But if the injury concerns are in the short term, it might be best for the Sox to walk away now and pursue another option. As it stands now, the Sox do not have a suitable internal candidate to play first base if something were to happen to Napoli.

The Sox do still have some options at first base with Nick Swisher and Adam LaRoche both on the market, but both players would require the Sox to give up a draft pick - something they've been unwilling to do thus far.

Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

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Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

The Patriots opened a roster spot by waiving defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, but they won't be adding a quarterback to take his place. 

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the team has swapped one defensive tackle for another by adding former Browns big man John Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 320-pounder who played under former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi when Lombardi was Cleveland's general manager in 2013. 

Hughes was released last week after spending just over four years with the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012. He signed a four-year extension with the Browns last season that was worth $12.8 million. 

With the Patriots, Hughes figures to work in as part of the rotation on the interior of the defensive line along with Malcom Brown, Alan Branch and rookie third-round pick Vincent Valentine. Unlike Johnson, who was more of a penetrating pass-rusher, Hughes should factor in as more of a space-eating type. He has 5.5 career sacks in 53 games. 

Johnson is the latest in a long line of Browns who played under Lombardi to end up in New England. The two most notable Patriots who spent 2013 in Cleveland are defensive end Jabaal Sheard and running back Dion Lewis. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who arrived in New England in a trade this summer, was drafted by Lombardi's front office as the No. 6 overall pick in 2013.

Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

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Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine sit-down with Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to talk about the high expectations for the season, the addition of Al Horford, and getting married this offseason.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about Thomas, including his very team friendly deal will ever become an issue.

Look for new podcast versions of our media day interviews in the coming days, plus videos and other content as the Celtics get ready for the season.