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LaRoche a safer bet than Napoli

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08:10 AM ET 01.02 | Now more than a month after agreeing to terms with Mike Napoli, Boston has yet to ink the free agent. And through it all, Adam LaRoche still waits by his phone. At age 33, LaRoche is coming off a season in which he hit a career-high 33 home runs and matched his personal best with 100 RBI, marks never before reached by Napoli. LaRoche is the most desirable first baseman remaining on the free agent market, and given their relative health histories, a far safer bet than Napoli. The Washington Nationals would like to re-sign LaRoche, a favorite of manager Davey Johnson, but have drawn the line at a two-year contract. ... LaRoche is holding out for a three-year deal, and as long as Napoli remains in limbo, there's still a chance the Red Sox will give it to him.

Boston Herald

Adam LaRoche, Icon Sports Adam LaRoche, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
January 2, 2013  08:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Ummm....LaRoche is 2 years older than Napoli and had a terrible, injury-filled '11. I wouldn't be too excited about signing a 33 year old who just came off a big contract push year that was preceded by two average to poor seasons.

I don't see an upside to Napoli, who has a current and real hip problem.

So if it's Napoli for 3 years ror LaRoche for 3 years, I gotta go with the guy who is healthy today. After all, 36 is not old for a first baseman. That's where they shuttled Yaz in his waning years. That's where Papi plays when he has to.

Furthermore, those LaRoche numbers are potentially DL numbers if he stays healthy.

January 2, 2013  08:52 AM ET

We're into the new year and still no word on Napoli. I think it's time to move on.

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January 2, 2013  09:21 AM ET

Napoli has had 1 good year. He can't stay healthy and you need to hide him in the field. IMO, this is a terrible signing for Boston. LaRoache is a much better option, at least you are goning to get great defense at 1B.

I still think they should look into trying to trade for Justin Morneau. I know he's a risk, but only a 1 year risk.

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January 2, 2013  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Ben is looking at that .621 slugging in '11 and dreaming that Napoli might be able to stay healthy if he doesn't catch...I think the hip is going to scuttle the deal, though.LaRoche isn't a bad player and he's more than capable of putting up some more nice seasons, but his '10 and '11 scare me. His best seasons are all in the 120-130 OPS+ range and that would be nice to have, but I see little upside and a LOT of potential downside.

Keep in mind LaRoche is very good defensively, while Napoli is lousy. LaRoche is up and down offensively. I'd be ok with him as a #6 hitter, but not 3 or 4.

January 2, 2013  09:51 AM ET

Back at work after a long holiday/vacation. Tough to get going, I wish I was still home playing Legos with my boy or sliding down the hillside at the town park.

January 2, 2013  09:55 AM ET

The young catchers are in place, the question you have to ask yourself do I want a proven first baseman with good defensive skills or a aging catcher-first baseman who is injury pronged on my team.

January 2, 2013  09:57 AM ET

Red Sox managment could pull the deal with Napoli at any time if there is a real medical issue. Thus, the fact that they have not done so raises the question, why haven't they?

There may be more going on here than is publically known; otherwise, why wouldn't they be negotiating with LaRoche?

January 2, 2013  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The young catchers are in place, the question you have to ask yourself do I want a proven first baseman with good defensive skills or a aging catcher-first baseman who is injury pronged on my team.

I think that question pretty much answers itself.

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January 2, 2013  10:15 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

LaRoche is older than Napoli!Although the effective age of Mike's hip might be more like 100...

Catchers tend to age faster due to the wear and tear.

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January 2, 2013  10:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

I don't want the Sox to sign either of these guys for more than a year or two. However, given a choice I would rather have LaRoche because he is much better defensively and the rest of the infielders need a guy who can catch the damn ball when the throw is not perfect.

I guess LaRoche is asking for 3 years.

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