|The Red Sox spring training facility is ready for year two. Pitchers and catchers report in just under a month.|
The Mike Napoli saga continues for the Red Sox. Six weeks ago the team and Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39MM contract, but concerns over Napoli's hips surfaced after he took his physical with the team causing a delay in the contract talks and preventing anything from becoming official. Earlier last week reports surfaced that Boston was trying to restructure the contract as only a 1-year deal, after ESPN Radio's Jim Bowden tweeted that the team was interested in shortening the deal.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tells us that former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek will serve as an on the field coach for catchers in spring training. It's the first we have heard of Varitek doing any sort of coaching, which bodes well for those that are hoping he will some day manage. It gives his an opportunity to see if coaching is what he likes or if he would rather a off the field role. Varitek will also continue his role as an adviser to GM Ben Cherington.
- WEEI's Rob Bradford reports that with the continued delay in the Napoli signing the team has shown interest in free agent first basemen Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay. Once source said “nothing is active” with regards to talks and we expect that it's just the team doing due diligence. Expect the team to sign Napoli or look in the trade market.
- ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes looks at Red Sox pitching prospect Rubby De La Rosa and his relationship with Pedro Martinez and his brother Ramon. De La Rosa is a high level pitching prospect with lots of promise and learned his changeup from Pedro, whose might have been the best in league history. WEEI's Alex Spier has a similar story. WEEI Version
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald looks at what it might take for the Red Sox to acquire Michael Morse for the Washington Nationals if the Napoli deal falls through. With the lack of depth in left field the team could both sign Napoli and trade for Morse, but at this point that seems unlikely.
- The Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson tells us Red Sox knuckleballing prospect Steven Wright is eager to work with Tim Wakefield who will be assuming some role for the club this year. Wright, who was converted to a full time knuckleballer just last season, was acquired for Lars Anderson last year.
- The Boston Herald also tells us that the Red Sox among other teams have scouted Javier Vasquez in Puerto Rico. The 36-year-old pitcher took 2012 off when he retired, but now has strong interest in returning. He will pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
- The Red Sox and NESN will air their annual "Red Sox Town Hall" on January 19th at 11 p.m. for more info and to submit your questions visit the NESN page.