By Jeff Louderback
Mike Napoli is almost set to finally join the Boston Red Sox, according ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden and MLB Network Radio.
Those outlets report that the Red Sox and Napoli will reach an agreement on a one-year contract. Originally, Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal during the winter meetings last December, but that was before a physical apparently revealed potential issues with his hip and/or leg.
The 31-year-old Napoli is expected to fill the void at first base for the Red Sox. The right-handed power hitter has slugged 80 home runs over the last three seasons, including 30 in 2011 before slipping to 24 last year in an injury-plagued season with the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox are also interested in adding a left-handed hitter who can play first base and left field since Napoli and left fielder Jonny Gomes mash left-handed pitching but tend to struggle against right-handers.