Red Sox Rumors: A Mike Napoli Return in the Cards?


Boston Red Sox rumors at the Winter Meetings are connecting the team with a familiar face in former first baseman Mike Napoli.

As always with the Winter Meetings we are going to hear a lot of chatter the next couple of days. Sometimes these rumors will come true, like the Red Sox fleecing the Mariners in the Wade Miley for Carson Smith swap on Monday, but many times we will hear something that never happens. At the time, it is always difficult what to believe and what to shrug off.

That being said, I found this recent rumor to be particularly interesting. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Red Sox “have had some contact on old friend Mike Napoli.” Heyman also mentions the Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates as other teams showing possible interest in Napoli, but the idea that the Red Sox would approach him at all seemed kind of odd.

Always a fan favorite, and an important part of the 2013 World Series championship team, Napoli will always have his place in Red Sox history. However, after an ugly start to the 2015 season, the Red Sox traded Napoli to the Rangers at mid-season.

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Napoli turned his season around in Texas, looking like the strong right-handed slugger that we were used to seeing. His poor first half looked like an anomaly, and I could see why the Red Sox could see some upside here, but how would he fit in on the current roster?

As constructed, there is no may that the Red Sox could seriously be considering Napoli. That being said, is this rumor a precursor to another trade? With Hanley Ramirez seemingly locking down first base for the Red Sox for next season, why else would they be approaching Napoli? Perhaps the Red Sox think a Ramirez trade is more likely than what it appears on the surface.

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A timeshare between Napoli and Travis Shaw at first base could certainly bring some nice production for the Red Sox. It is something that I can get behind. However, any of these scenarios would have to include a trade of Ramirez. I cannot help but think there is some sort of connection here.

Ahhh, how we all love rumor season.