Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
With Adrian Gonzalez now a member of the Dodgers -- along with nearly every other long-term contract in baseball -- the Boston Red Sox are on the lookout for a first baseman this winter. Ben Cherington and company could decide to re-sign James Loney to man first on a short-term basis, but it's just as likely they will look elsewhere for first-base help.
Napoli, 31, spent a majority of his time behind the plate for the Texas Rangers the last two seasons, but has played first base a considerable amount -- 133 games -- over the past three years. The righty slugger had a bit of a down year this season compared to his mammoth 2011, but Napoli still hit .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs in just 108 games. Napoli's ability to relieve Jarrod Saltalamacchia and/or Ryan Lavarnway behind the dish in addition to manning first could make him a valuable piece for Boston.
LaRoche, 33, still has to decide whether to accept his one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Nationals before he will become available to the Red Sox and the rest of the MLB. The veteran had a career year at the plate this past season, hitting .271/.343/.510 with 33 home runs and 100 RBI, so it's likely he will take his chances on the open market rather than stay with the Nats on a one-year deal.
LaRoche was briefly a part of the Red Sox organization between trades in 2009. The left-handed slugger was acquired from the Pirates for two players before being shipped off to Atlanta in exchange for Casey Kotchman a week later.