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Sources: Red Sox, Napoli reach deal

Winter meetings report: Rosenthal on A-Rod, Napoli and Pagan.
Winter meetings report: Rosenthal on A-Rod, Napoli and Pagan.
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Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Boston Red Sox and free agent Mike Napoli have agreed to a three-year contract worth $39 million, major-league sources confirmed to FOXSports.com.

Napoli, 31, brings a powerful bat to the Boston lineup, along with the flexibility to catch or play first base. He also could serve as the designated hitter on days when David Ortiz does not play.

Napoli was an All-Star and had an .812 OPS and 24 home runs with the Texas Rangers this past year — his fifth straight season with 20 or more homers. His arrival in Boston increases the chances that Red Sox catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be dealt this offseason.

Napoli spent the past two seasons with the Rangers, who now face an intriguing decision on free agent Josh Hamilton as they try to maintain a formidable lineup. If Hamilton also signs elsewhere, then the Rangers could intensify their efforts to acquire Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The agreement is subject to Napoli passing a physical, which will take place later this week, the person said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.

''Awesome addition to our team!'' Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.

A 31-year-old who also plays first base, Napoli hit .320 with 30 homers and 75 RBI as the Texas Rangers won their second straight AL pennant in 2011, then slumped to a .227 average with 24 homers and 56 RBI this year as he became a first-time All-Star. His on-base percentage dropped from .416 to .343.

Napoli is a .306 career hitter at Fenway Park (19 for 62) with seven homers and 17 RBI. He is the third free agent to join the Red Sox this offseason following outfielder Jonny Gomes, who got a $10 million, two-year contract, and catcher David Ross, who received a $6.2 million, two-year deal.

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''He's a guy who is getting on base, has power, would be a good fit for our ballpark,'' Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, without confirming the agreement. ''We like his offense at Fenway. We like the versatility.''

The right-handed-hitting Napoli could see most of his playing time at first base because Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August along with pitcher Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford.

''We knew when we made the Dodger trade and we moved Gonzalez that we were going to have to try to find a way to replace that offense,'' Cherington said.

Texas was unwilling to guarantee three seasons for Napoli, who hit .350 with two homers and 10 RBI in the 2011 World Series against St. Louis.

''They were very upfront with us throughout the process. So not a surprise,'' Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. ''I'm hesitant to use the word disappointment because ultimately we had a decision to make.''

Boston now has four catchers, with Napoli joining Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and Ross. Saltalamacchia started 95 games behind the plate last season, with Kelly Shoppach getting 42 starts and Lavarnway 25.

The Red Sox could trade one of their catchers, but that might wait until spring training.

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''We're pretty comfortable where we are,'' Cherington said.

Boston still is looking for a left-handed bat and starting pitching. The Mets are discussing whether to trade NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, but the price in prospects would be high.

''It's always steep for the better guys, a valuable commodity, so if a team is going to move someone, especially if there's any length of control, they're asking for a lot,'' Cherington said, ''as we would.''

Boston is coming off its first last-place finish in two decades, a year when the Red Sox went 69-93 and lost 26 of their last 33 games. Manager Bobby Valentine was fired and replaced by John Farrell.

''You've got to add a lot of wins (from) where we finished to compete in this division,'' Cherington said. ''I think players and agents understand that despite what happened this year, Boston is Boston. We're committed to having a winning team. We have a history of a winning team. We're going to commit resources to the team.''

At last year's session in Dallas, Cherington called the winter meetings a ''cesspool of information flow and dialogue.''

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''You go through the cycle once and you're a little bit more comfortable with everything you have to do,'' he said, ''and maybe more aware of the potential pot holes and able to navigate those hopefully.''

But he did have some levity. Asked what player he was looking at to play right field, Cherington responded: ''Dwight Evans.''

NOTES: 3B Pedro Ciriaco, who was playing in the Dominican Winter League, had right shoulder soreness checked out by the Red Sox, and Cherington said it was minor and he should be ready for spring training. ... Boston agreed to minor league contracts with RHP Jose De La Torre, RHP Terry Doyle, OF Mitch Maier, utility man Drew Sutton and RHP Oscar Villarreal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tagged: Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers, Mets, David Ross, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Jon Lester, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

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