PROVIDENCE While reports circulated Thursday that the Red Sox had finalized their agreement with free agent first baseman Mike Napoli, reportedly for one year instead of the three years that was initially reported, general manager Ben Cherington would not go that far.No, but were making some progress, Cherington said Thursday evening before a town hall-style event. Its fair to say weve made some progress the last day or so. Hopefully, well have something more formal to say soon but not tonight.There was no set timetable in place for such an announcement, he said.Not exactly but hopefully soon, Cherington said. But it wont be in the next couple of days or anything like that.News of the Napoli deal was first reported Dec. 3 during the winter meetings in Nashville, but negotiations hit a snag when a hip issue was found during Napolis physical. Despite the delay, Cherington said he did not lose confidence the deal would get done.I dont know that doubtful was a word that I thought about, he said. Weve kept talking the entire time and when theres dialogue theres always a chance to get somewhere. It means that theres an interest on both sides and when theres an interest on both sides theres a chance and youre hopeful. So hopefully we are getting somewhere.Cherington said he did not think Napoli would require another physical before the deal is official, but theres still some things we just got to work through.Manager John Farrell also expressed his confidence the deal would get done.I know theres some progress being made with Mike and hopefully that continues to head in that direction and weve got more of a look of who were going to report to camp with in Fort Myers here within in three weeks, Farrell said.In such protracted negotiations, there exists the possibility for talks to become contentious and the relationship to break down. Cherington said he did not think that was the case in this situation.I think its good, he said. I think therell be a time to talk about that more but we tried to and have a consistent dialogue throughout the winter and a lot of conversations. But I think therell be a chance to talk about that more, hopefully soon.
Of the 34 players on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot, 19 are tied to the Red Sox or New York Yankees. Who deserves a nod this year?
Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."
No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .
. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.