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Mike Napoli looking increasingly unlikely to sign with Red Sox

Mike Napoli's deal with the Boston Red Sox is in jeopardy, as the two sides can't come to an agreement after Napoli's physical. Now, the Red Sox are pursuing Adam LaRoche.

Ezra Shaw

Remember when Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million dollar deal with the Boston Red Sox?

Well, it's looking increasingly likely that the deal between Napoli and the Red Sox won't be consummated. After taking a physical, the Red Sox became increasingly concerned with Napoli's hip, and ever since, have been trying to modify the deal.

On Thursday, it was reported that the Red Sox are indeed pursuing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, who enjoyed a career year with the Washington Nationals in 2012. Unlike Napoli, LaRoche would cost the Red Sox a draft pick in the 2013 draft, since Washington extended Napoli a qualifying offer.

Since the Rangers signed A.J. Pierzynski, it doesn't look like the Rangers would be a suitor for Napoli, assuming that the Red Sox and Napoli don't end up with some type of agreement.

It's possible that the New York Yankees, who desperately need a catcher, would be willing to go after Napoli if he hits the market again, but with a lingering hip issue that's preventing the Red Sox from officially signing him, it seems unlikely that Napoli would be able to handle catching 100-120 games per season.

The Red Sox and Napoli are trying to work through "hip language" in the contract, but if the Red Sox do sign LaRoche, it seems likely that Napoli will once again be looking for a team to play for in 2013.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.