The Red Sox had been relatively quiet this offseason until Monday, the first day of the winter meetings, when the team made their first real splash by signing free agent 1B/C Mike Napoli. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford was the one to break the story. The deal is for three-years and $39 million, with $13 million being split evenly between the three years.
With the signing the Red Sox now have four catchers on their roster in Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross, which opens the door for the team to deal away either Saltalamacchia or Lavarnway. The consensus among the media as well as members of the organization is it will be Saltalamacchia who could have significant value out on the market.
Mike Napoli fills power need, but defense sacrificed– Nick Cafardo looks at the signing noting Napoli is a below average first baseman, but makes up for it with his bat.
Patience pays off with Mike Napoli– Chad Finn says the Red Sox stuck to their guns with Napoli not giving in to the fourth year and it paid off.
Red Sox finally make their big splash in the pool– Scott Lauber has his take on the Naploi signing.
Searching for Dwight Evans: Where the Red Sox’ quest for a right fielder stands– Rob Bradford looks at where the Red Sox are in terms of finding their right fielder for next season and what Monday’s events mean towards it. The team has a few options they are kicking the tires on.
Josh Hamilton next for Red Sox?– Gordon Edes thinks Josh Hamilton would be a good fit in a Red Sox uniform.
Defense taking back seat to offense, character during Sox offseason– Sean McAdam notes the Red Sox aren’t factoring defense into their signings as much as in the past, instead focusing on offense and clubhouse guys.
The Patriots wrapped up their fourth straight AFC East title in Sunday’s victory over the Dolphins. It was their fourth straight and ninth in the last ten years. Much of the discussion on sports radio was how bad the AFC East has become, seemingly getting worse and worse each year. The Bills, Dolphins and Jets don’t seem likely to give the Patriots any competition in the near future either.
With their next two games against the Texans (next Monday night) and the 49ers (Sunday Dec. 16), two of the best teams in the league, it will become clear just how good the Patriots are and play a significant role in determine their seeding for the playoffs. The team reportedly will sign former wide receiver Donte Stallworth Tuesday as they are lacking depth at the wide receiver position with Julien Edelman going down with a foot injury Sunday.
It’s complicated, but Patriots are AFC’s No. 2 seed– for now– Shalise Manza Young looks at the tie breakers which currently have the Patriots as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. She also notes how important next Monday’s game with the Texans is.
Patriots report card– Ron Borges hands out his grades from Sunday. They aren’t as high as you’d think for a team who wrapped up the AFC East division title.
Coming attraction: Patriots-Texans will serve as preview for AFC Title game– Christopher Price thinks next Monday won’t be the only time the Patriots and Texans play this season.
Patriots-Texans has plenty to offer– Mike Reiss also looks ahead to the game, already digging into some matchups.
Also something to note, WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton had a report out of no where last night stating the NHL had made significant progress to end the lockout, which could be lifted by today or tomorrow. No one really seemed to backup Burton’s claim. We’ll see how it plays out, but it is hard to imagine he is right, although everyone hopes in fact he is.