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 - 2:01pm  

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

It Is What It Is Cast: Pr…

It Is What It Is Cast: Previewing Patriots-Jets

OXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

SI's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

We get a complete breakdown of the win from Bill Belichick as the Patriots secure yet another AFC East title. Bill talks about the historical significance, the key moments of the game, and even Tom Brady's nutritional regiment.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Red Sox Manager John Farr…

Red Sox Manager John Farrell joins Mustard and Johnson, 12-13-14

Manager of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, speaks with Craig and Larry during the "Christmas at Fenway" festivities. John spoke about the pitching rotation as it stands right now, and inability to sign John Lester. He also talked about some of the younger pitching prospects, as well as the Free Agents that have signed with the team in the last month, like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

Red Sox President and CEO, Larry Lucchino, sits down with Mustard and Johnson, 12-13-14

Craig and Larry press Larry Lucchino about the inability to sign Jon Lester, the projected starting rotation, and the signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

Boston Red Sox COO, Sam Kennedy, with Mustard and Johnson, 12-13-14

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Kennedy, joined Craig and Larry to talk about Christmas at Fenway, and some of the Red Sox off-season acquisitions.

Jack Edwards with Dale an…

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.

Pierre Mcguire: Chara's return will have huge impact for Bruins 12-11-14

Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports. Bruins are plagued by injuries 12-4-14

Pierre McGuire joins the show to talk about the struggling Bruins.

Tom Brady vs. the FCC 12-…

Tom Brady vs. the FCC 12-17-14

The guys opened the show by discussing the latest absurd complaints by viewers to the FCC regarding Brady's F bombs.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines:Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class 12-17-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Damien Woody on Patriots Jets 12-17-14

The guys spoke with Damien Woody about Pats Jets.

"The Price is Right," wit…

"The Price is Right," with Chris Price of WEEI.com, 12-17-14

As we do every Wednesday, we re-visit some predictions that Chris made in anticipation of last week's game against Miami, and make some new ones about Sunday's match up with the New York Jets.

Three For All - Gronk gets flirty on Top Chef, 12-17-18

Christian gets a call from a fellow Bacon Doughnut lover. Rob Gronkowski was on "Top Chef," and Padma Lakshmi goes full-cougar. Britt McHenry of ESPN gets into a twitter-fight with some hockey trolls.

Andy Brickley, NESN, addresses the reeling Boston Bruins, 12-17-14

The Bruins lost again last night, as they have in 6 of their last 7 games. The team needs to make a move but don't have very much cap space. NESN color commentator, Andy Brickley, spoke about a team that's struggling to get back to elite status.

Jack Edwards: I would not…

Jack Edwards: I would not be shocked if Bruins miss the playoffs this season

Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.

Bruins lose another in Nashville, par for the course in 2014

Dale and Michael discuss the Bruins shoot-out loss in Nashville as a representative example of larger issues in 2014 for the Boston club.

Making a case for Revis for MVP

We discuss the impact Darrelle Revis has had on the Patriots defense and whether or not he deserves to be a candidate for team and/or league MVP in 2014.

Mikey's 9th Anniversary S…

Mikey's 9th Anniversary Show

Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .

Mikey on location with Ron Emma

Mikey and Mut are on location with some WEEI listeners and Crazy Ron Emma talking sports and pizza.

Rick Middleton calls into the show

Mikey gets a surprise call from his old buddy, "Nifty" Middleton. They of course talk some Bruins

We Love Anthony Davis - Q…

We Love Anthony Davis - Quarter Season storylines

What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?

Pod Man Rush: Taylor/Tyler 2014 with Ryan Lambert

Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.

D&C's Breaking Balls: What would you tell a younger version of yourself? 12-15-14

Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.

Tom Brady on another divi…

Tom Brady on another division title 12-15-14

Tom Brady joined the show to discuss another division title.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on the Pat…

Tim Hasselbeck on the Patriots dominance 12-15-14

Tim Hasselbeck joined the show for his weekly visit.

More from this show

D&C's Breaking Balls: Wha…

D&C's Breaking Balls: What would you tell a younger version of yourself? 12-15-14

Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.

More from this show

Patriots rout Dolphins to…

Patriots rout Dolphins to clinch AFC East, 12-15-14

Miami kept it close at half, but the Patriots turned it on in the 2nd half, scoring 24 points in the 3rd quarter alone to blow out the Dolphins and clinch the division. The opening drive featured Jamie Collins blocking a FG try that Kyle Arrington brought to the house. Jonas Gray saw the ball 19 times and appears to be back in the RB rotation.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Amal Clooney 12-16-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

More from this show

Weei Writers