This year's winter meetings are off to a quick start, with the Rays signing first baseman James Loney and the Padres coming to terms with right-hander Jason Marquis before anyone has had the chance to take their luck break. Now a third, much bigger deal is in the works, as the Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, per CBS Sports.
The 31-year-old Napoli has been the Red Sox's primary free-agent target for much of the offseason. The Rangers and Mariners have also been in pursuit of the slugger's services, but Boston has seemingly gone after him the hardest. Napoli has spent the majority of his career at catcher, but will likely take over as full-time first baseman in Boston, where he has played 133 games over the past three years.
After a monster 2011, the righty slugger had a bit of a down year for the Rangers this past season, but still hit .227/.343/.467 with 24 home runs in 108 games. Napoli is a career .259/.356/.507 hitter in seven big-league seasons.
News that Napoli and the Sox were near a deal broke less than an hour ago, with WEEI first breaking the story.