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Napoli deal with Red Sox still not finalized

The SportsXchange

Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal on the first day of the winter meetings.

Nine days later, the signing still hasn't been announced officially.

Multiple media outlets reported that Napoli was in Boston this week for a physical exam, but the team has yet make any statements regarding his status.

Fox Sports, citing an unnamed source, said the two sides were trying to get past some "issues."

The Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com both speculated that the Red Sox could be working up detailed contract language that would cover them in case Napoli winds up sidelined due to a pre-existing condition. Both outlets reported that the Red Sox included similar wording in past long-term deals for J.D. Drew and John Lackey -- and one of those clauses came in handy when Lackey wound up missing the entire 2012 season following Tommy John surgery.

Napoli, 31, has averaged 104 games per season in his seven injury-filled years in the majors, topping 114 games only once. This year, he was slowed by a quadriceps injury.

An All-Star for the first time in 2012, Napoli hit .227 with 24 homers and 56 RBI in 108 games for the Texas Rangers. He played five years with the Los Angeles Angels before spending the past two seasons in Texas.

If and when Napoli finally signs, the Red Sox could use him at catcher, first base and designated hitter.
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