With Adam LaRoche returning to the Nationals on a two-year, $24 million deal, the most obvious free-agent fallback plan for the Red Sox should talks with Mike Napoli unravel is no longer available. The development does not come as a surprise to the Sox, however.
All winter, LaRoche seemed determined to get a three-year deal if he was to leave the Nats, the team with whom he enjoyed a tremendous year in 2012, hitting .271/.343/.510/.853 with 33 homers and 100 RBI. That appeared to remain the case all winter, even into January. And, according to multiple major league sources, the Sox simply had no intention of committing three years to the 33-year-old LaRoche, particularly given that he would cost the team not just money but also a second-round draft pick. (LaRoche, as a free agent who received a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the team with whom he spent all of 2012, would have required a draft pick as compensation for the Nationals if he signed with a team other than Washington.)
Early in the offseason, the Sox prioritized Napoli over LaRoche. Napoli wouldn’t cost the Sox a draft pick; at 31, he seemed a slightly safer risk for three years (a notion, however, that may be in some jeopardy given that his agreement remains unresolved due to concerns that emerged when he underwent his physical). And while LaRoche clearly had the stronger 2012 season (Napoli hit .227/.343/.469/.812 with 24 homers in 108 games in 2012), Napoli enjoyed the stronger career marks, with a .259/.356/.507/.863 line, compared to LaRoche’s totals of .268/.338/.482/.820.
And while Napoli and the Sox continue to try to find common ground in the aftermath of the physical, likely altering the original terms of the deal, it would appear that he remained the Sox’ clear priority even with the health concerns that he now presents. In other words, trepidation about the status of talks with Napoli wasn’t going to compel the Sox to reach an agreement with LaRoche on terms that the club deemed undesirable.
The Boston Herald's Ron Borges joined the show to discuss his column in today's paper on Vince Wilfork. He thinks the Pats should keep Vince.
Boston Globe Patriots writer Ben Volin joined the show with the latest on the offseason. He said it is most likely that Julian Edelman returns next season due to his agent's relationship with the team.
Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk.com joins the show to discuss the status of Aqib Talib and the exciting prospect of Darrelle Revis being traded by the Bucs to a CB-needy team.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN joins Mut and Lou to discuss the future of the struggling Celtics as well as the rocky relationship between Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens and Rajon Rondo
ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about Rajon Rondo's birthday mishap.
Jackie MacMullan joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Rajon Rondo's unexcused absence from the Celtics game in Sacramento and how the organization feels about Brad Stevens.
Mikey and Ryder talk with Hall of Fame baseball player and current analyst/broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. Eck gives all kinds of insight into the Red Sox current pitching staff and how valuable a reliable bullpen can be. He also talks about how the game has changed since his playing days.
In 2013, Jackie Bradley Jr. used a non-roster invitation to big league spring training as a platform to an unexpected major league performance. Yet by and large, prospects in big league camp for the first time have more modest goals of creating familiarity -- both on their part with the big league setting, and in an effort to try to impress the big league coaching staff to position themselves for in-season call-ups. Red Sox prospects Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo and Bryce Brentz discuss their outlook on their first big league camps, while Bradley joins to explain the difference he feels this year in his second big league camp.
Red Sox NESN color man Jerry Remy joined Dennis & Callahan to discuss his first broadcast since his sons arrest last October.
Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, joins the Mut and Merloni show to share his thoughts on the recent trade moves the Bruin's made on deadline day.
Andy Brickley of NESN joins the Mut and Merloni show to share his thoughts on what trade moves the Bruins might make, if any, as the trade deadline approaches.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed his 100th fight as a Boston Bruin last night. He added that he hopes the Bruins remain intact at today's NHL deadline.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today they discussed the ongoing controversy surrounding the Oscars and Andrew Garfield.
The guys opened the show by discussing Nick Cafardo's column on Stephen Drew. Everyone disagreed with the premise that it is time to panic and sign Drew.
Our friend and Jimmy Fund Patient Sam Thomas discussing his desire to meet Ellen. #EllenMeetSam
Mut and Lou talk about which free agents they want to hear rumored to be going to the Pats.
Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, shares his thoughts on the recent trade moves the Bruin's made on deadline day.
Mut and Lou are both dissapointed by the Bruins lackluster moves at the deadline. Meszaros and Harry Potter? Really?
The three man booth breaks down all the rumors, possibilities, trade scenarios, signings and more, and takes your calls about it all.
We tackle four topics that surround the great BIG MAN athletes of sports. BIG as in chubby.
Tom E Curran and Michael Holley talked Celtics, Rondo and the return of Paul Pierce to the Garden, and we were joined by a fan who wears his emotions on his sleeve, and wasn't afraid to show them for the Celtics.
Mikey, Lenny and Bill Fairweather are joined by the legendary Bob Lobel, who talks about his career in Boston, his thoughts on some of the goings on, and some great sports talk.
Mikey, Ryder and Lenny talk with Mikey's buddy, former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee. Bill talks about bad neighbors, his playing days with the Sox and beyond.