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."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.
Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?
The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.
Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.
Final two hours of Dale and Holley with Keefe for a Friday.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss a variety of topics for the first two hours of Freestyle Friday.
We close out the week with another edition of the madness and LAROY!!!!!!!!!!! takes you into the weekend.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben and Alex talk to Charlie Stillitano, the man responsible for the International Champions Cup. He has created tournaments for the biggest teams in the world to be played in the US every summer. This year he will bring Juventus and Roma to play in Foxboro on July 30th.
Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
Christian Arcand made his triumphant return to K&C and the guys talked about the future of Jimmy Garoppolo.More from this show
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.More from this show
Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?More from this show
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.More from this show
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.More from this show