MLB

Source: Red Sox, Napoli working through 'issues'

Image: Catcher Mike Napoli (© Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)
Napoli and the Red Sox reached agreement on Dec. 3 on a three-year deal.
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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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Is Mike Napoli’s deal with the Boston Red Sox in jeopardy?

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When it comes to predicting division winners, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi only agree on one thing.

No, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions, adding that the two sides are still working through some “issues.”

The Red Sox anticipated introducing Napoli at a news conference Tuesday, sources said, but did not hold the event.

Napoli, 31, reached agreement with the Red Sox a week ago Monday on a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract, pending a physical.

Initial reports from ESPN.com and the Providence Journal said that Napoli’s physical was scheduled for last Wednesday, with an announcement expected at week’s end.

Napoli actually began his physical Monday morning, according to a source. The deal, however, still was not official as of Wednesday morning.

Neither Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington nor Napoli’s agent, Brian Grieper, responded to requests for comment.

Free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino, who also agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox, is scheduled to take his physical Wednesday and hold his introductory news conference Thursday, sources said.

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Napoli, who has played in more than 114 games only once in his career, missed more than a month last season with a strained left quadriceps and more than three weeks in 2011 with a strained left oblique.

He also suffered a severely sprained left ankle in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, but he appeared in Game 7 and was ready for the start of the 2012 season.

Napoli also underwent shoulder surgery early in his career.
 

Tagged: Red Sox, Mike Napoli

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