From CSNNewEngland.com comes word that Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli underwent a procedure Tuesday at Massachussetts General Hospital designed to correct his sleep apnea.
The procedure, called a bimaxillary advancement, involves moving the upper and lower jaw forward to enlarge the airway in both the tongue and palate.
It should help Napoli’s breathing, especially during sleep, and the hope is that better rest will yield better on-field performance and improved overall health.
Napoli appeared in only 119 games in 2014 for the last-place Red Sox, batting .248 with a .789 OPS, 17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 55 RB in 119 games. He hit .259 with an .842 OPS, 23 home runs, 38 doubles, and 92 RBI across 139 games in 2013.
The 33-year-old is entering the final season of a two-year, $32 million contract.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.