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The beard is back. The Boston Red Sox have re-signed slugging first baseman Mike Napoli to a two-year, $32 million deal, per ESPN. Napoli reportedly accepted one less year and less money than other teams had offered him to stay with the World Series champs.
Napoli, 32, saw his numbers improve across the board in his first year with the BoSox last season after spending his first seven seasons with the Angels and Rangers. After moving to first base, Napoli put up career highs in RBIs (92), runs (79), doubles (38), and walks (73). Napoli put up a .259/.360/.482 line in 2013, hitting 23 home runs.
Napoli was also a key part of the Sox’ playoff run as he hit two home runs and drove in seven runs over 15 postseason games, en route to Boston’s third World Series win in the last decade.
The slugger will be an even more important part of the lineup this season as the Red Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Marlins this week. The Sox have replaced Salty by signing veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal and also added bullpen help in former Cardinal Edward Mujica this week.
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