Red Sox have Napoli, LaRoche on radar

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

With Adrian Gonzalez now a member of the Dodgers -- along with nearly every other long-term contract in baseball -- the Boston Red Sox are on the lookout for a first baseman this winter. Ben Cherington and company could decide to re-sign James Loney to man first on a short-term basis, but it's just as likely they will look elsewhere for first-base help.

Now a day in to the annual GM meetings, word has surfaced that free agents Mike Napoli and Adam LaRoche "on the Red Sox first base radar", per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Napoli, 31, spent a majority of his time behind the plate for the Texas Rangers the last two seasons, but has played first base a considerable amount -- 133 games -- over the past three years. The righty slugger had a bit of a down year this season compared to his mammoth 2011, but Napoli still hit .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs in just 108 games. Napoli's ability to relieve Jarrod Saltalamacchia and/or Ryan Lavarnway behind the dish in addition to manning first could make him a valuable piece for Boston.

LaRoche, 33, still has to decide whether to accept his one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Nationals before he will become available to the Red Sox and the rest of the MLB. The veteran had a career year at the plate this past season, hitting .271/.343/.510 with 33 home runs and 100 RBI, so it's likely he will take his chances on the open market rather than stay with the Nats on a one-year deal.

LaRoche was briefly a part of the Red Sox organization between trades in 2009. The left-handed slugger was acquired from the Pirates for two players before being shipped off to Atlanta in exchange for Casey Kotchman a week later.

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