As all patrons of Boston’s favorite fictional watering hole undoubtedly know, sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Cheers, then, to the idea of Napoli returning to this city, where his shirtless romp down Boylston Street after the 2013 World Series preceded the urges of Cleveland Indians fans to party at Napoli’s this year.
Not only does Napoli know Boston, he actually likes it here, which is more than many free agents wind up saying. The Red Sox have been in contact with Napoli, according to a league source, but prefer to wait on the resolution of the competitive balance tax in the new collective bargaining agreement before signing any free agents.
It¡¯s easy to see the Sox signing Napoli to rotate with Hanley Ramirez between first base and DH. Napoli, 35, also has a well-earned reputation as a clubhouse leader and would be a positive influence on still-impressionable right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
“How long do you want to tie somebody up for that [DH] position when we have a lot of young players coming?” Dombrowski said. “I think that’s a very important part of it. Do you want to tie up that one spot with one individual? I’m not sure. Now, one year? Maybe one year is different. But from a long-term basis, do you want to do that? I’m not sure.”
Fourteen years ago, the Red Sox signed a hulking slugger who had been cast aside twice before, including by the Minnesota Twins after hitting 58 homers in 1,477 big league at-bats.
And, of course, Ortiz morphed into Big Papi.
That brings us to Carter, designated for assignment Monday night by the Milwaukee Brewers despite leading the National League with 41 homers and posting his best OPS (.821) since 2012. But Carter, a right-handed hitter who turns 30 in December, is the epitome of an all-or-nothing slugger. He struck out 206 times this season and has averaged 188 whiffs since 2013.
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Austin Pasztor Jersey And the free-agent pool is filled with power hitters, including lefty-swinging Pedro Alvarez, Michael Saunders and Brandon Moss.
Could Carter be the second coming of Ortiz? Some team might think so.
Just don¡¯t bet on it.