Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was a guest of WEEI’s Hot Stove Show Thursday night. Cherington was asked if there was any news regarding the status of free agent first baseman Mike Napoli, who agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the club in early December but has yet to sign the contract as concerns surfaced after the 31-year-old underwent the Red Sox’ physcial examination.
“No, there’s nothing to update,” Cherington said. “We’re, I think as everyone knows, one of our goals this offseason was to add offense at first base. We haven’t been able to really do that officially yet. We’re still talking and when you’re talking, there’s hope for a resolution. But nothing to report right now. … We have had dialogue [with Napoli]. It’s one of those situations, out of respect to Mike and the process, I’m not going to get into detail. Whenever we’re talking and there’s dialogue, it means we’re hopeful of being able to do something but we just don’t know yet. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Cherington was asked if the Red Sox have explored other options at first base. The club reportedly showed interest in Lance Berkman prior to his agreeing with Texas on a one-year, $10 million deal.
“Until something is done, you have to consider other options so we’ve had to do that and we’ve continued to consider other ways to improve the team, whether it’s at first base, or elsewhere,” Cherington said. “At this point, we just haven’t found anything that made sense to us in the sort of big picture. So that’s where we are. There’s no one particular player that’s available or not available that would have changed the course of our offseason. We’re just examining and evaluating things as they come. Certainly when you have a position you’re trying to improve on, until it’s improved upon, you have to continue to consider other options. It’s fair to say as you sort of get deeper into the winter, the free agents start to go off the board. You can look at trades and other ways to do things. It remains a focus. We’re still hoping we can do something to improve ourselves in that area before we get to Fort Myers.”
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