Mike Napoli’s three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox was reworked into a one-year, $5 million deal after concerns about the health status of his hip, but he’s earned back some of that money via incentives.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that by being on the active roster for 165 days this season Napoli has earned the maximum $8 million in incentives, making it a one-year, $13 million contract. That’s still a long way from three years and $39 million, but Napoli should be able to snag a one- or two-year deal as a free agent this offseason that will bring the total money relatively close.
It’ll be interesting to see what the market is for Napoli this time around. He’s been healthy, moving away from catcher has allowed him to log a career-high 534 plate appearances, and his .838 OPS almost matches his .858 career mark, although the position switch means his offense is level valuable too. Can he get a two-year, $26 million deal this winter?
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.