News today that the Red Sox are talking to Adam LaRoche smell distinctly like something leaked by the Red Sox in order to put pressure on Mike Napoli as the two sides try to figure out to do with his contract in light of his bum hip. Seems like Mike Napoli can play that game too:
According to multiple baseball sources, at least one team has been in communication with Mike Napoli’s representatives regarding the free agent infielder’s status since negotiations with the Red Sox hit a snag.
That’s from Rob Bradford of WEEI.
Whatever. It strikes me as odd that the Red Sox are playing hardball with Napoli on the hip issue here. If they’re not careful he’ll go back to Toronto or on to New York or something and beat their brains out 19 times a season.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.