Mike Napoli Back in the Fold - 2/32

BosRedSox5

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Napoli and Pedroia taking discounts are huge credits to Boston's culture. This team isn't about superstar players with flashy contracts. It's about analytics, winning games and having fun. People don't take discounts to stay in shitty organizations. We're world class. 
 

Doctor G

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CaskNFappin said:
That's pathetic. Enjoy the here and now, man. We got him back on a steal......a guy who celebrated a World Series by roaming Boston shirtless and pounding drinks. I would have been cool with 3/45!
Mike should go with Midnight Rambler by theStones as his walk-up tune
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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radsoxfan said:
 
If it really was 3/39 vs 2/32, I don't think thats really leaving that much on the table.
 
Sure, he has the hip issue and thats a bit of a wildcard in his individual case.  I'd probably go 3/39 over 2/32, and definitely appreciate that Nap wants to come back to Boston.
 
But it's really not that big of a difference.  Not crazy for him to bet on himself and think he could get at least a 1/7 deal at the age of 34 to make up the difference, and perhaps he could do much better.
 
I think what you say makes a lot of sense, and I also admit that perhaps I just want to believe in the story that he made a financial sacrifice to play in Boston because he loves us.
 
But I really do think what he gave up was quite significant because of the hip.  In 2016, he'll be a 34-year old guy with a degenerative hip condition.  If that's me, and I'm being offered $7 to $10 million guaranteed for that year two years in advance, and I have no real ability to make 1/100th of that if I don't play baseball, I don't have to think twice.  So, as far as I'm concerned, he loves us!
 
Kind of interesting to wonder what the discussion with his agent was like.  That's $350k to $500k guaranteed for his agent -- who may be in much less of a mood to bet on a guy with a degenerative condition.
 

nvalvo

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More seriously, I am worried about the hip. So I am really glad that Ben held firm at two years. If Napoli gets a hip replacement and retires, it won't undermine the team's budget too badly. I also think there's a meaningful risk of skills decline, considering what his K-rate is now. But we're hedged with Carp, and it's not so long a deal. And his power gives some oomph to the lineup. The risk/reward proposition is pretty decent at this price. 
 
And, of course, Nap is a super-likable guy, and like everyone else, it's great to see evidence that the players actually want to play in Boston. What a turnaround from the days of Valentine!
 

FredCDobbs

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Yes!!!!  Sign Lester after Spring Training and my offseason wish list will be complete!  
 
$16 mil a year buys a lot of Kools.  Congrats Mike.
 
 
 
 
 

SumnerH

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radsoxfan said:
 
Yup. After all the back and forth, and FA spread over 2 years, Nap does quite nicely for himself.
 
And the front office got to get another year of info before signing the last 2, giving themselves a lot more certainty on the contract.  Well done for both of them.
 

dynomite

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Basically since the day of the Punto Trade everything has come up roses for the Red Sox.
 
The streak continues.
 
Napoli is a great player for this team returning on a great contract.  The 2014 Red Sox could essentially take the field tomorrow and I'd be satisfied. Amazing job by all involved.
 
(And putting aside the incredible feel-good story of Napoli's decision to take a hometown discount -- which I believe -- I also think he's taking a wise calculated risk.  By hitting the market again in 2 years instead of 3, there's a real chance he could more than make up the difference between 3/39 and 2/32)
 
EDIT: Also, over/under on the number of times this thread will be linked to in, say, June when Napoli slumps for a few weeks?
 

Drek717

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Dan to Theo to Ben said:
Unfortunately that's the key right there. There was no 1B counterpart of JBJ in the minors.
 
Yeah, because the alternative to Napoli was in the majors putting up a 140 OPS+ in ~240 PAs.  Mike Carp was a valid alternative to Napoli, there was a clear in-house option of merit.  They kept Napoli because he's less risky and took a reasonable deal.  If he'd wanted three years we'd be talking about him signing with Texas right now.
 
Anyhow, exactly the kind of deal I was hoping he'd come back on.  I'm really interested to see how his home/road splits fare next season.  He was .817/.866 OPS home/away last season and that isn't at all what I'd expect from Napoli's skill set in Fenway.  There's concern that his BABIP will drop, but he's a career .310 BABIP guy even with some real hard dips in there, but a lot of regression in other metrics could be made up and then some if he sees the Fenway bounce we were all expecting last year.
 
Now the question is if the FO keeps Carp as the 5th OF.  It'd sure feel like selling low to let him go now when his bat just started to come alive last year.  If he could be a better fielder in LF he'd be a good backup plan in case Nava comes crashing down to earth, but can the Sox really afford a LF only 5th OF type when JBJ and Victorino are the only CF options and there aren't any good backup plans in AAA?
 

teddywingman

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Drek717 said:
 
Yeah, because the alternative to Napoli was in the majors putting up a 140 OPS+ in ~240 PAs.  Mike Carp was a valid alternative to Napoli, there was a clear in-house option of merit.  They kept Napoli because he's less risky and took a reasonable deal.  If he'd wanted three years we'd be talking about him signing with Texas right now.
 
Anyhow, exactly the kind of deal I was hoping he'd come back on.  I'm really interested to see how his home/road splits fare next season.  He was .817/.866 OPS home/away last season and that isn't at all what I'd expect from Napoli's skill set in Fenway.  There's concern that his BABIP will drop, but he's a career .310 BABIP guy even with some real hard dips in there, but a lot of regression in other metrics could be made up and then some if he sees the Fenway bounce we were all expecting last year.
 
Now the question is if the FO keeps Carp as the 5th OF.  It'd sure feel like selling low to let him go now when his bat just started to come alive last year.  If he could be a better fielder in LF he'd be a good backup plan in case Nava comes crashing down to earth, but can the Sox really afford a LF only 5th OF type when JBJ and Victorino are the only CF options and there aren't any good backup plans in AAA?
 
I don't know the answer to the full question, which is a good one. But I bolded the part about Carp/Nava, because there's no way, ever, minus season ending injuries, that Carp is a better everyday left fielder than Nava.
 
Edit: Reading your post again--I struck away from the point you were making. It's late in the evening and I think Nava is still better than everyone thinks he is.
 
My apologies to the management. Wooooo baseball.
 
Edit 2: This is a lesson on how not to post on the main board. All of you youngins take head. I expect a stern warning or perhaps expulsion as soon as I sober up.
 

Hoplite

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Victorino and Napoli left money on the table to sign with the Sox. Pedroia signed a team friendly extension and Lester says he wants to do the same. Clubhouse chemistry may not win baseball games, but it sure helps when attempting to assemble a team.
 

geoduck no quahog

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So the team continues the practice of shorter term contracts with higher (and more equitably spread AAV's) except in special cases. They refuse to mortgage the future with burdensome contracts and they retain draft picks. What a great model.

I'm really pleased to see this negotiation turn out well. I also think we'll be re-greeting Drew.

Easy team to like, ain't it?
 

joe dokes

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
I think this is just a really good illustration (and vindication) of Ben's philosophy. Our highest-paid player is making $16M -- but we'll have 8 guys (at least) making $10M or more. It's like that batting order full of 115 OPS+ guys. Stock up on good, and you don't have to overpay for great.
 
Never thought of it that way.  The salary depth/OPS+ depth seems a really good snapshot of the FO "philosophy" to team building.
 
But they don't have a true lead off hitter unless JBJ can grow into the roll by year end.
 
 
They may not have a base-stealer like Ellsbury at the top of the lineup, but Nava could certainly "replace Ellsbury's on-base percdentage." [/Duquette]
 

InsideTheParker

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joe dokes said:
 
Never thought of it that way.  The salary depth/OPS+ depth seems a really good snapshot of the FO "philosophy" to team building.
 
 
They may not have a base-stealer like Ellsbury at the top of the lineup, but Nava could certainly "replace Ellsbury's on-base percdentage." [/Duquette]
Yeah, but Nava needs to be way down in the line-up so he doesn't clog up the basepaths too much. I wonder if he can study up on base-running this off-season.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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Re taking Boston's offer over Texas':
 
I'd like to believe that "stability" was at least a tiny factor.  I can't see Washington lasting three more years with a team in quasi-transition like the Rangers. 
 
Nap likes it here, is liked here, has a pretty defined role, just won a ring, received the veritable "shorter-term-higher-AAV" offer, and there's clear stability on the bench and in the front office. 
 
Point: Red Sox.
 

ji oh

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seantoo said:
So accepting the most money offered to you is classless? You are being a fanboy.
 
 
 
False dichotomy. Accepting the most money is normal.  Doing what they are doing is a class act.  Pooping on the team you are leaving is classless.
 

Montana Fan

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His offense is solid but I am really stoked at how good he is defensively. One of my favorite WS memories is Koji's great throw to pick off Wong and Nap's snap tag.  Couldn't be more pleased that he's back.  Any way someone could gif that monster blast he hit off CC this summer into this thread?
 
Somewhere Suzyn Waldman has a sour look on her face.  
 

pdub

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Glad to hear. Very nice of him to take a discount, being able to leave $10M+ on the table is a gutsy move. I expect some regression from him but I think he'll still be good overall. 
 

Drek717

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Montana Fan said:
His offense is solid but I am really stoked at how good he is defensively. One of my favorite WS memories is Koji's great throw to pick off Wong and Nap's snap tag.  Couldn't be more pleased that he's back.  Any way someone could gif that monster blast he hit off CC this summer into this thread?
 
Somewhere Suzyn Waldman has a sour look on her face.  
I think his defense makes a pretty compelling argument as to why he's effectively getting a raise over the 3/$39M he signed last year.  That 3/$39M was for when they hopped he'd be a passable 1B.  Instead he was quite good, and actually added value with the glove.  Only paying an extra $6M over three years for that defense is pretty nice value.
 

seantoo

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geoduck no quahog said:
So the team continues the practice of shorter term contracts with higher (and more equitably spread AAV's) except in special cases. They refuse to mortgage the future with burdensome contracts and they retain draft picks. What a great model.

I'm really pleased to see this negotiation turn out well. I also think we'll be re-greeting Drew.

Easy team to like, ain't it?
This is how it's played out so far but not how management necessarily views it. The Sox went after Ellsbury. 1 report stated the offer was 6 years at $120M another said they did not break $100M in their offer. Either way it appears they went at least 5 years at close to $20 million or more. The team has stated they will do big long term deals but they are just being far more cautious in doing so. The market is what it is and top talent gets paid a premium. If the situation is right, young elite talent less than or equal to 30, they will extend a competitive offer. The team confirmed that a diverse portfolio of deals is what they seek. I presented this before as a few 5,5+ years deals a few 4 years deals, several 3 years deals and so on. Ideally you would only have about 3, multi year, contracts expiring each season. Ideally the farm would have 2 prospects ready to make the jump each season. This is ideal but hard to execute.
 

seantoo

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BeantownIdaho said:
And you sir like to take a quote and twist it into something that it is not.  Go ahead and tell everyone here that it was not classy.
I asked it in the form of a question to see if you believed the opposite is true. I did not twist anything. It's not 'classy'. He liked it here, it's as simple as that. The situation for him was ideal. Good for us, yes, but "classy" is not the right word.
 

seantoo

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ji oh said:
 
 
 
False dichotomy. Accepting the most money is normal.  Doing what they are doing is a class act.  Pooping on the team you are leaving is classless.
False dichotomy? No it was a question, to see if the person thought the opposite was true too. Accepting the most money is human except when personal circumstances tell you to do otherwise. It's personal not classy nor classless. and of course pooping on the team you are leaving is classless even when you are justified it makes you look petty and ...classless.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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seantoo said:
False dichotomy? No it was a question, to see if the person thought the opposite was true too. Accepting the most money is human except when personal circumstances tell you to do otherwise. It's personal not classy nor classless. and of course pooping on the team you are leaving is classless even when you are justified it makes you look petty and ...classless.
 
Agree wholeheartedly.  
 
Let's not paint these guys as saints because they choose your favorite team over others that may pay more.  If Napoli turned down more money to stay in Boston, he isn't doing it to be "classy" whatever that means.  Napoli clearly likes playing in Boston and wants to stay there even if it means turning down more money.  You could argue that is a selfish act too.  
 
That said, great move by the Sox.  Napoli's fielding alone was amazing and if he can continue to contribute that kind of defense, he will really help the pitching staff again in 2014.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Very happy to not have a question mark at 1B. Nap's defense was unexpectedly terrific which somewhat made up for his streaky lack of contact at the plate. Somewhat... I hope he can be just a little more disciplined this year. That being said he's still a really good right handed power bat to put behind Papi.
 

Rough Carrigan

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That story that a bunch of teammates urged the front office to make a push to re-sign Napoli is very interesting.  I'm sure that you could interpret that as a slightly bad thing if you really wanted to.  I mean, how different is it in concept from what you heard about the early 2000's mets where Al Leiter and John Franco had the ear of the owner's son and influenced personnel decisions.  But maybe it's the fanboy in me.  I don't see it like that.  It's not a couple veterans but, supposedly, a lot of guys.  And you can't help but infer good things about the camraderie of the team.
 

JimBoSox9

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Drek717 said:
Anyhow, exactly the kind of deal I was hoping he'd come back on.  I'm really interested to see how his home/road splits fare next season.  He was .817/.866 OPS home/away last season and that isn't at all what I'd expect from Napoli's skill set in Fenway.  There's concern that his BABIP will drop, but he's a career .310 BABIP guy even with some real hard dips in there, but a lot of regression in other metrics could be made up and then some if he sees the Fenway bounce we were all expecting last year.
 
Good point, I think I'd been fixating a bit much on the obvious BABIP regression at the expense of the other variables.  I hadn't known that about his splits, and I was stunned to learn it was entirely SLG-driven.  He posted identical .360/.360 OBPs.
 

knucklecup

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Rough Carrigan said:
That story that a bunch of teammates urged the front office to make a push to re-sign Napoli is very interesting.  I'm sure that you could interpret that as a slightly bad thing if you really wanted to.  I mean, how different is it in concept from what you heard about the early 2000's mets where Al Leiter and John Franco had the ear of the owner's son and influenced personnel decisions.  But maybe it's the fanboy in me.  I don't see it like that.  It's not a couple veterans but, supposedly, a lot of guys.  And you can't help but infer good things about the camraderie of the team.
While I feel this way as well, what does the story imply about Saltalamacchia or Ellsbury as teammates / key cogs on the 2013 roster? Why didn't teammates go out of their way to influence the front office to sign them?
 

radsoxfan

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Rough Carrigan said:
That story that a bunch of teammates urged the front office to make a push to re-sign Napoli is very interesting.  I'm sure that you could interpret that as a slightly bad thing if you really wanted to.  I mean, how different is it in concept from what you heard about the early 2000's mets where Al Leiter and John Franco had the ear of the owner's son and influenced personnel decisions.  But maybe it's the fanboy in me.  I don't see it like that.  It's not a couple veterans but, supposedly, a lot of guys.  And you can't help but infer good things about the camraderie of the team.
 
It's a nice story, and I don't doubt that players voiced their opinion (which is fine by me).  But I wouldn't make the jump that it made much of a difference in what the FO offered, or that players are influencing personnel decisions.  They had a 2/30 deal on the table, Texas came at Nap, and they offered 2/32 to close the deal.  Sounds like this is probably about what would have happened regardless of any player involvement.  
 
Maybe Pedey called up Ben and screamed and yelled until Ben caved, but I highly doubt it.  It's not like they even offered another year, just 1M AAV extra.  I'm not worried at all that the inmates are running the asylum.
 

radsoxfan

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knucklecup said:
While I feel this way as well, what does the story imply about Saltalamacchia or Ellsbury as teammates / key cogs on the 2013 roster? Why didn't teammates go out of their way to influence the front office to sign them?
 
Who says they didn't?  This only became a story because Nap actually re-signed. 
 

Drek717

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JimBoSox9 said:
 
Good point, I think I'd been fixating a bit much on the obvious BABIP regression at the expense of the other variables.  I hadn't known that about his splits, and I was stunned to learn it was entirely SLG-driven.  He posted identical .360/.360 OBPs.
His career SLG for Fenway is still .508, even with 245 ABs at .457 last year (.506 away), which underscores just  how impressive he was in his previous ~60 ABs in Fenway throughout his career.  Observation says that he should benefit from Fenway, not hurt by it.  Even the  notion that the monster is turning homers into doubles doesn't really fly as he had 18 doubles at home and 20 on the road in the same  number of PAs.
 
If that bounces back he could see very little regression even if his BABIP comes down.  Given that he's had multiple high BABIP seasons and is a line drive hitter there's also a good chance that when he's on his BABIP is legitimately that high, and his up/down years are basically an indication to the ratio of hot v. cold streaks in any given season for him.  If he has a similar collection of hot streaks as last year AND sees a Fenway bounce he's got potential to flirt with a .900 OPS.
 

JohntheBaptist

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seantoo said:
I asked it in the form of a question to see if you believed the opposite is true. I did not twist anything. It's not 'classy'. He liked it here, it's as simple as that. The situation for him was ideal. Good for us, yes, but "classy" is not the right word.
You asked the question in order to imply that's the way he felt.  Then you didn't wait for an answer and declared him a fanboy.
 
You just felt like throwing some weight around, it's cool, but the people that do that here are usually actually good at it.
 
And no shit it doesn't make him "classy."
 

fuzzy_one

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I'm late to the party (what with folks already having post-coital smokes), but holy hells I love this deal. 
 
As others have said, I would have been okay with three years -- nervous, but okay. If the hip holds up, we get a couple years of what we just got: grinding at bats, frustrating Ks, monstrous homers, and GG defense at first. If it doesn't, them's the breaks. It's a more than acceptable risk.
 
Couldn't be happier.
 

seantoo

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Dan to Theo to Ben said:
Unfortunately that's the key right there. There was no 1B counterpart of JBJ in the minors.
I think highly enough of JBJ to believe he'll likely make an all star game or two (and have earned it) however it's a mistake by the masses to think that any rookie hits the ground running when it comes to offense. Defensively, by all the scouting reports, JBJ will be fine and defense is something you should expect a rookie to do well immediately. However Ellsbury set a higher bar offensively at CF than Drew did at SS. As good as JBJ may be Xander is on a different level. He's as Gammons would say, "special". In other words we'll miss Ellsbury more than any other of the free agents we had, and to think otherwise is fooling yourself. In regards to firstbase I'm glad we have Nap back however we did have players on the roster who could have done an adequate job replacing him at firstbase.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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seantoo said:
I think highly enough of JBJ to believe he'll likely make an all star game or two (and have earned it) however it's a mistake by the masses to think that any rookie hits the ground running when it comes to offense. Defensively, by all the scouting reports, JBJ will be fine and defense is something you should expect a rookie to do well immediately. However Ellsbury set a higher bar offensively at CF than Drew did at SS. As good as JBJ may be Xander is on a different level. He's as Gammons would say, "special". In other words we'll miss Ellsbury more than any other of the free agents we had, and to think otherwise is fooling yourself. In regards to firstbase I'm glad we have Nap back however we did have players on the roster who could have done an adequate job replacing him at firstbase.
 
Who exactly?
 

curly2

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seantoo said:
I think highly enough of JBJ to believe he'll likely make an all star game or two (and have earned it) however it's a mistake by the masses to think that any rookie hits the ground running when it comes to offense.
 
Yes, but even if JBJ still qualifies as a rookie, I think the hardest part is over for him. Last year for him was like Trot Nixon's April 1998 or Pedroia's September 2006. I believe 2013 was his baptism of fire and now he'll show he belongs in the majors.
 
I'm not saying he will replace Ellsbury's production next year - and he'll never steal bases like Ells - but I think he'l be solid.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Eck'sSneakyCheese said:
 
Who exactly?
Well, maybe Carp.  He's not a power threat like Napoli but he looks like a real good hitter.  However, he's not nearly the defender that Napoli is.  A bit of platoon with Gomes to take away and lefty on lefty sting and you might have a decent replacement.
 

syoo8

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Steamer projects JBJ's triple slash line as: .256/.337/.402 for a .739 OPS.  With good D and good plate discipline, he'll be fine next year.  
 
In six years the Yankees can give him a 9 year contract.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Rough Carrigan said:
Well, maybe Carp.  He's not a power threat like Napoli but he looks like a real good hitter.  However, he's not nearly the defender that Napoli is.  A bit of platoon with Gomes to take away and lefty on lefty sting and you might have a decent replacement.
 
That's kind of what I mean. Carp is more of a question mark. He's never played more than half a season, and while he was great last year, what would he give us as an everyday starter? The RHH power would've been my other point and you bring up Gomes but I'd rather have them both in the lineup.