Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Boston may see Napoli as a solution at first base rather than a fourth option at catcher.
If you thought that Boston's addition of veteran catcher David Ross on a two-year deal would put a stop to rumors of the Red Sox targeting Mike Napoli, you probably wouldn't have been alone. But you would have been wrong, apparently.
The addition of a third catcher to Boston's 40-man roster has not dissuaded Ben Cherington and company from keeping the 31-year-old Napoli on their radar, per Rob Bradford of WEEI. The Red Sox reportedly view the veteran slugger as an option in their search for a first baseman.
Napoli has played 133 games at first over the past three seasons, but it is unclear whether he would acquiesce to play the position on a daily basis. The only season Napoli made more starts at first than behind the plate was for the Angels in 2009 when Kendrys Morales went down with his freak season-ending injury.
After a stellar 2011, Napoli struggled some at the dish this season, hitting .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs and 56 RBI in 108 games. The veteran backstop and first baseman made $9.6 million last season, and was one of a few surprise choices not to receive a qualifying offer.