McAdam: Rangers reportedly interested in Napoli

McAdam: Rangers reportedly interested in Napoli
December 6, 2013, 6:45 pm
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(AP Photo)

Robinson Cano is off the board. 

Ditto for Curtis Granderson. 

Could Mike Napoli be the next big bat to sign?

If the Red Sox want Napoli back in Boston, they better get a move on. 

Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam says interest in the first baseman is heating up, with serious challenges reportedly being mounted by the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners. 

Last year the Red Sox signed Napoli to a three-year deal, but dropped it down to a one-year deal after discovering avascular necrosis in both of his hips. Nap made it through the season in good health and his exit physical revealed no additional reason for concern.

So we know Napoli can handle the pressure of Boston; we know he can handle first base, and we know his hips held up well over at least one year.

So why haven't the Sox already sealed the deal with their slugger?

"It may be whether the Red Sox are willing to go and guarantee a third year," says McAdam. "[The Red Sox] have some concerns about that hip, particularly as you get deeper into that contract and Napoli gets into his mid-30s. It actually held up pretty well with medication and therapy…"

Seattle proved it was willing to spend to attract big-name players by signing Robinson Cano early on Friday. 

Texas may be interested in a reunion with Napoli but they've already added a big bat who plays first base in Prince Fielder, so they would seem to have Napoli pegged as a DH. 

Either way, the Red Sox aren't alone in their interest in Napoli, and if they don't make a move soon, they may be watching him at an introductory press conference with another team. 

"It may be that the Red Sox have to swallow hard and guarantee a third year, or at least write something into a vesting third year on an option that gives Napoli a defacto third year," says McAdam.