Report: Red Sox still “hopeful” of getting deal done with Mike Napoli

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Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox over a month ago, but the deal has been in limbo since an issue — believed to be a pre-existing injury with one of his hips — was revealed during his physical. While the two sides continue to negotiate, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe hears that the Red Sox haven’t given up hope of eventually working out a deal.

It’s been reported that the Red Sox would prefer to sign Napoli to an amended contract, likely with specific clauses involving the hip in order to minimize the risk involved. There have been some rumors about the Red Sox potentially looking at Adam LaRoche as an alternative to Napoli, but that appears to be a negotiating ploy, as they are reluctant to give up the draft pick (and draft pool money) to sign him. Meanwhile, Napoli is not tied to draft pick compensation.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.