The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Kurkjian on M&M: Napoli 'a real pro'
Mon, 12/03/2012 - 3:01pm  

Kurkjian on M&M: Napoli 'a real pro'

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian joined Mut & Merloni on Monday, shortly after reports emerged that the Red Sox have agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with free agent Mike Napoli.

"It's roughly what I thought he was going to get," Kurkjian said. "It's probably a little bit more than I thought he was going to get, but you're dealing with a Red Sox team here that is clearly in trouble, clearly needed to have a bat at first base. We all know his swing is perfect for Fenway Park, we've all seen his numbers at Fenway Park. Of course, not a whole lot matters from that until he actually gets to Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox and we can see what he can do.

"I think it was the right thing to do for them because they had to have a bat. He's a real pro. A couple of years ago he was as good a hitter as there was in the American League the second half of the season. He had a real drop-off last year. But I think he'll be a better hitter playing first base most of the time, because just the obvious wear and tear on his body that comes from being a catcher most of the time."

The converted catcher has some defensive issues at first base. Kurkjian said that's part of the package with Napoli.

"He's not a particularly good defensive first baseman, and I don't think anyone thinks that he is," Kurkjian said. "After watching Adrian Gonzalez for a short period, you'll see the difference between these two guys, and it will be a stark difference here. But I think Napoli does serve a couple of purposes. He can go behind the plate here and there. And even though they already have a couple of catchers, and David Ross is a very good backup and I think he's going to play more than a backup plays, I think they'll be OK behind the plate -- in fact, better than OK behind the plate. But you're right, defensively at first base they're going to lose something there. And you can't do that in the American League East -- starting letting runs in, because that's really going to hurt you."

Asked if he thought the Red Sox would make a major deal during this week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., Kurkjian wasn't sure.

"They might make a big trade," he said. "Justin Upton is out there, and he's available. There's a real question for me right now how good a player Justin Upton is and how much it's going to cost to get him. But that would qualify, I would think, as a big move. There's your everyday right fielder and your middle-of-the-order guy, and then you hope to revive him.

"The other interesting thing is -- and I'm not going to get anything started here because I just don't see it happening -- is if you had told me today: How can the Red Sox not make a run at Josh Hamilton if they can get him for four years? It seemed to make sense, they need an everyday outfielder who can hit. And then I talked to a Red Sox source who told me they would never give Josh Hamilton more than two years, which means that deal is not going to happen.

"I just can't believe the Red Sox with all their money aren't going to leave without a big splash of some sort. But maybe they'll go with several medium splashes -- Napoli, Swisher and somebody else, and start to fill the holes that way."

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On free agent outfielder Shane Victorino: "He's available, certainly, and there are a bunch of players out on the market who are kind of like him. There are center fielders out there, even with B.J. Upton gone, there's still Michael Bourn and some other people. Victorino has shown now that he can play the corners. The danger with Victorino is his OPS last year was about a hundred points lower than where it normally is, and about 142 points down from where it was last season, in 2011. So, there's a danger there that he's no longer the dynamic offensive player that he used to be. That may keep the price down on him. 

"He fits [GM Ben Cherington's] description perfectly: He can play left field, he can right field, but mostly he can play center field. And that's a really nice guy to have. Exactly how much it's going to cost for him, I'm not so sure. … The Red Sox had better be prepared to pay him, and they're going to have to pay him as an everyday player. Because he's not going to go anywhere and be a backup anywhere. He's going to want everyday player money. So, it's going to be relatively expensive."

On free agent outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher and if he's a good clubhouse presence: "I think he brought a lot to the Yankees as far as just a free spirit, a little bit of an edge. And I think he would be good in Boston. I think he would be good in the clubhouse. If I were the Red Sox I would look long and hard at him, because obviously he can play left and right field, he switch hits and, as you guys said, he can play first base also. So, I think he's very much on the radar there for the Red Sox, and I think he should be. I guess there's a debate how good he is in the [locker] room. From all indications from my eyes, he's very good in the room. And I think he could help the Red Sox in several different ways."

On Alex Rodriguez reportedly needing hip surgery that will force him to miss 2-3 months next season: "I watched him in the postseason last year, him struggle so badly like that. And I must have said to myself three different times: This guy's got to be hurt. He can't be this bad. And yet you're right, how in the world can this come up this late if he was hurt three months ago? It just doesn't follow. Maybe he was hurt. But if he was hurt, how could they not have done this surgery the minute they got knocked out of the playoffs so they could cut down the time into the season that he's going to miss? Now they have to go find a replacement for A-Rod at third. Where are they going to get that from? Is Eric Chavez going to replace him for a long period of time? Absolutely not. So, now the Yankees have something else to worry about. Now they have a shortstop and a third baseman coming back from an injury, not to mention the other holes on that team. Boy, they have a lot of work to do right now. And as of today, more than they had yesterday."

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.




Audio On Demand

Jerod Mayo joins MFB, 7-3…

Jerod Mayo joins MFB, 7-30-14

Patriots LB, Jerod Mayo, talks about the high praise he's been receiving from coach Belichick, trying to forget about last year, and what the team hopes from the defense.

Danny Amendola joins MFB, 7-30-14

Patriots WR, Danny Amendola, joined the show for a bit to talk about his health, the evolution of the playbook, and the heated battles between the offense and defense.

It Is What It Is Cast: Brandon Browner gets fired up

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Wednesday's Patriots practice, which featured Brandon Browner getting into it with Kenbrell Thompkins and a couple others.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Sox Manager John Farrell …

Sox Manager John Farrell with Dale and Holley

As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.

Buster Olney, ESPN, on the impending Jon Lester trade, 7-30-14

Multiple sources have indicated that Jon Lester will be dealt before the July 31st trade deadline. Buster talks to MFB regarding possible destinations, and he seems to think Lester will land in the NL Central. He also suggests that the Sox might as well get rid of John Lackey if they're going to deal Lester.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Gordon Edes: "95% chance …

Gordon Edes: "95% chance Lester gets traded" 7-30-14

ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes gave us the latest on the Lester trade talks.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Hillary Clinton wants to change the Redskins mascot 7-30-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.

Jon Lester scratched 7-30-14

Joh, Gerry and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest rumors surrounding Jon Lester.

Buster Olney, ESPN, on th…

Buster Olney, ESPN, on the impending Jon Lester trade, 7-30-14

Multiple sources have indicated that Jon Lester will be dealt before the July 31st trade deadline. Buster talks to MFB regarding possible destinations, and he seems to think Lester will land in the NL Central. He also suggests that the Sox might as well get rid of John Lackey if they're going to deal Lester.

Jerod Mayo joins MFB, 7-30-14

Patriots LB, Jerod Mayo, talks about the high praise he's been receiving from coach Belichick, trying to forget about last year, and what the team hopes from the defense.

Danny Amendola joins MFB, 7-30-14

Patriots WR, Danny Amendola, joined the show for a bit to talk about his health, the evolution of the playbook, and the heated battles between the offense and defense.

John Farrell with Dale an…

John Farrell with Dale and Holley

As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.

Making sense of all the trade talk with WEEI.com's Alex Speier

We check in with Alex on the eve of the trade deadline.

Waving goodbye to the ol' Lefty? Jon Lester appears headed out of Boston

We respond and react to the news that Jon Lester may no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox once the trade deadline passes.

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.

We're all yelling about LeBron James

Producer's Podcast-Is Leb…

Producer's Podcast-Is Lebron a Genius? 7-29-14

Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

Minor Details Ep. 94.1: Are prospects overvalued? Andrew Miller on being traded for Miguel Cabrera

With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.

Gordon Edes: "95% chance …

Gordon Edes: "95% chance Lester gets traded" 7-30-14

ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes gave us the latest on the Lester trade talks.

More from this show

Rob Bradford on the lates…

Rob Bradford on the latest with the Sox at the deadline 7-28-14

Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.

More from this show

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

More from this show

Jon Lester is on the tabl…

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

More from this show

Jon Lester scratched 7-30…

Jon Lester scratched 7-30-14

Joh, Gerry and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest rumors surrounding Jon Lester.

More from this show

Weei Writers