The beard is back: Mike Napoli tweets photo confirming new deal with Red Sox

The market for Mike Napoli heated up quickly this week with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins all showing interest in the first baseman/designated hitter. Ultimately, though, Napoli decided the best place for his career and still ungroomed beard to continue their growth was with the Boston Red Sox.

WEEI's Rob Bradford was the first to report the two sides reached an agreement on a new deal on Friday evening. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal provided the numbers — two-years, $32 million. Then Napoli confirmed it as fact on Twitter.

He even dressed up for the occasion. And by dressed up we mean he put on a shirt.

The new deal nearly brings Napoli back to the three-year, $39 million contract he agreed to before the 2013 season. The Red Sox significantly lowered their original offer after a pre-signing physical revealed a degenerative hip condition. Napoli eventually signed a one-year, $5 million contract. He'll end up with a considerable raise from that number, and rightfully so after delivering 38 doubles and 23 home runs during the regular season. Napoli was among Boston's more important players in the postseason as well, providing key hits in their ALCS and World Series victories.

Napoli likely would have landed a three-year deal with one of his other suitors, but based on the photo he's more than happy to sacrifice a year of security to remain in Boston. And we're sure they're just as happy to have him back.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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