It appears that Mike Napoli will be remaining with the Boston Red Sox for at least three years after all. After having his initial three-year pact with the Red Sox last winter scrapped due to health concerns, Napoli turned in a strong 2013 season and earned another pair in re-upping with the Sox on a two-year deal.
Perhaps the most impressive of the Red Sox beards last year -- both in performance and in facial hair -- the new deal for Napoli is worth $32 million over the two years, making his total time with the Red Sox more expensive than it initially would have been had he managed to sign the three-year deal last winter. Nonetheless, he proved to be an extremely valuable member of the Sox last year, both in the regular season and the playoffs.
Napoli went for a 3.9 WAR in 2013, the second highest total of his career, as he posted a slash line of .259/.360/.482/.842. The advanced figures also reflected a strong season for him, as his wOBA registered at a .367 clip and he posted a wRC+ up at 129.
The power numbers were right back in line with his career averages, as he hit 23 home runs and knocked in 92. The 2013 campaign also featured a couple of career marks for Napoli, as he scored 79 runs and walked 73 times.
Napoli doesn't present the Red Sox with the versatility that he once had, as his catching days are essentially completely behind him, but he actually did bring the best defense of his career to Boston, reflected in his 9.7 UZR. That's the first positive figure he's posted on defense since 2010 and the first time he's ever succeeded to that level during his major league career.
All in all, it's a great keep for the Red Sox, as they retain a key piece of their 2013 championship team. There was some competition out there for him, but Napoli made it clear that he wanted to return. Given his success throughout his first year in Boston, this is obvious a great fit and the right move, at a reasonable price.
. . .
All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.