Mike Napoli and the Red Sox might have been forced to work out a new deal. But it could have been much worse for the new Red Sox first baseman if they didn't discover his condition during his physical.
After speaking with Mike Napoli's doctor, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal revealed that his condition, avascular necrosis, was caught early and will reduce the likelihood of it worsening over time.
Dr. Joseph Lane of the Hospital for Special Surgery has been working with Napoli during the offseason. He believes since Napoli's condition was found early, he could have avoided the problem.
"The earlier you know it, the better the chance to prevent regression and in some cases actually heal the process," Lane said. "If you do it late, it's just a matter of when will the hip fail. But (Napoli) doesn't have that. It was caught, it appears, when his hip was absolutely perfectly round."
Dr. Lane believes that Napoli "has a very good chance that that hip will heal and he'll go on to a long productive career."
Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.
Terms of the deals were not announced.
It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.
Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020.
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration.
Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.