Mike Napoli Signs With Boston

Earlier this week we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates viewed Mike Napoli as the perfect fit for first base. The rumor was kind of in the same way that Clayton Kershaw would be the perfect fit for the starting rotation. It’s true, but the odds of Napoli going to the Pirates were slim to none. Now they’re just none, as Napoli has re-signed with the Red Sox.

I’ve been talking the last few days about how first base is shaping up to be a buyer’s market. Boston was one of six teams that needed a first baseman, and Napoli was one of the top four first basemen on the free agent market. The teams that still need a first baseman are Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Houston, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. It’s possible that Houston could stay internal with their younger options. The free agent market still has Kendrys Morales, James Loney, and Corey Hart. That leaves the 1-2 remaining teams going for options on the trade market, which include Ike Davis, Mark Trumbo, Logan Morrison, Mitch Moreland, and Adam Lind.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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The Pirates know exactly what they are doing, they are one of the smartest organizations in sports, the fans don’t have a clue what they are doing mainly because Pirate management does not tell them anything, therefore what, when and where they will do something is still up in the air, would not bother me if they did nothing with the 25 man roster other than to fill holes left from players moving on. I for one do know how good their farm is and the talent that they can bring to the table, without out their farm last year despite the fine off season moves in the winter 2013, 2013 would have been a disaster. It took about 12 starting pitchers to get them through the season last year, the tiny not so popular moves they make for the AAA team over the winter are actually big moves, depth is vital, ask the Cards where they would have been if they had not dialed up some pitchers from their farm in 2013.

Brian Bernard

There is no purpose in paying 16 -20 million unless the player is elite and Napoli is not elite.

The salaries however do seem to be a bit excessive this year IMO, 10 mil/year for Scot Feldman??? But Beltran for 15 mil/yr seemed decent… IDK.

For this team you want someone who can compete at the plate like Morneau did, but get some better results. I’d rather save the big power bucks for Pedro’s deal. I like Loney at 5-7/yr or move on with other internal options. I’d be just fine giving Gaby a majority of the work, and having Lambo be the platoon guy and if he performs at a high level he can see more AB’s.


You would be happy with Gaby playing the majority? The man can’t hit right handed pitching. I expect Loney to be signed or a trade for someone like Lind, Davis or Moreland. Also, if AJ retires I expect a trade for a starter.

For those wanting to just go out and SPEND on some of these old players like Beltran. We have a young superstar on the way early in 2014 named Gregory Polonco

We also have loads of big time tarting pitching on the way in Taillon, Kingham and Glasnow among others. I am fine with sitting pat if AJ does retire. The only position that must be addressed is 1B


I have said all offseason so far that I think trades are going to have to be where it is at for the Pirates. I would have loved if the Pirates could have pulled off the Fister deal or even if they had gone after Porcello and got a similar deal for him. I would consider buying-low on Dempster from Boston and having Boston pickup some of his contract if we cannot get something worked out with AJ. I prefer AJ on this team…I have gone so far as to say that the team really needs AJ and I do believe that…that for this team to truly compete the way I think it can, it needs AJ Burnett.

As to other positions throughout this offseason…I prefer a trade for a 1B like Ike Davis (younger and still has some upside) who can be paired with Gaby. I think Ike could be fine and would enjoy getting out of New York…I also love the power of Adam Lind’s bat, although he does hit in a hitter-friendly park and his defense isn’t so good. I would be “OK” with Loney IF they got him for under $8M per year.

Now that the Mariners have signed Cano, I would love to see the Pirates try to trade and pickup Nick Franklin. He played the majority of his time in the minors at SS and hit really well in the minors. I think his production last year in the majors was to be expected from a 22 year old first reaching the majors…and he showed good power numbers actually. His defense is good at 2B and better than Mercer at SS. With the Mariners trying to trade for Dav


Don’t know why it sent that before I was done, but oh well:

With the Mariners trying to trade for David Price and possibly having to give up Tijuan Walker, I think the Pirates could actually get Franklin if they were willing to give up a decent prospect for him: and they should because he was a top 100 prospect going into last year.


I’d love Nick Franklin. Make it happen


I agree with pretty much everything you said except I don’t think AJ is quite as important as you do. That being said I do hope he is here for 1 more year.

Also, I completely agree on the idea of Franklin. My thinking is actually Frankiln or Brad Miller. I actually prefer Miller slightly but I would be happy getting either one. I would assume they would trade one after the Cano signing.

Nick A. Capernicus

Honestly idk how he would have faired here. He only had 23 bombs last year and 24 in Texas the year before. We have a much tougher left field than both those stadiums. Also be strikes out a lot. Would be better off going and getting trumbo note controllable and same results. Plus doesn’t have hip issues. Dont get me wrong wouldn’t have been against us signing him but for now I’m taking the high road #teamloney


Once again the Pirates r sitting on their thumbs, while all the FAs sign with different teams. EVERYBODY is out of their price range. Face in the cheap Pirates arent going to change. Give them the benefit of the doubt, my fanny. Yes, Russell Martin was a good find but please don’t use the what about the Bryd pick-up and Burnett (of course the Yankees picked up most of that). You fans of gotten to used to the status Quo, Give them the benefit of the doubt. $45 million for Beltran is a bargain. Don’t give me we dont have the money. With new TV revenue and play-off attendance money we have the money. Other small market teams can do it, ie cincinnati, KC, Milwaukee. If you cant afford it get some partners, THIS CITY DESERVES a consistent winner!


45 million for 3 years of Beltran is like flushing money down the toilet. 1. He is getting old, not just a little old, but old where even if he was healthy his whole career there’d be concerns 2. Injury plagued- He makes Jacoby Ellsbury look like a candidate for the Cal Ripken Jr. ironman award 3. It isn’t like his performance if looked at as a 30 year old healthy player is worth much more than 15 million per. He’ll likely play a below average outfield/DH for most of the time, hit about .280 with 20 homers and roughly 120 games. I’m not paying 15 million for that, are you?


Don’t you understand the Bucs are following the Tampa model: be competitive, come close, but in the end win nothing. Nutting is too busy counting his profits to even considering spending big time money to bring someone into this organization who can help take this team to the next level.


Having the money and using it wisely are two different things. I would agree that if Napoli would have come here for 16mil a year then they should have been in on it. That said, he took a home town discount…ie, he wasn’t going anywhere.
I don’t understand how the pirates can be ridiculed for not being active yet. Their targets have not signed anywhere. Loney is the perfect fit, and I don’t see too many better options out there in right field.
As far as pitching goes, they’ll make a move once AJ decides what he’s doing. They are playing the market perfectly.


A couple of things:
1) I wouldn’t have signed Napoli and given up the 1st round pick for $16M per year…I just do not like Napoli that much, honestly.
2) Loney is not nearly the “perfect fit” that everyone claims he is. Yes, he’s a decent player at a decent rate (as long as he’s around 7-7.5M) who will help with the OBP and, hopefully, hit with RISP…but he’s not a long-term solution at 1B, which we lack internally, and he’s far from “perfect.”
3) I think the Pirates have attempted to play the starting pitching market perfectly…I think they were in on Josh Johnson and the thought was that if they could get him then AJ might not matter so much. I think they missed out on a couple other good options and I think, now, the market actually sucks unless you’re going to give up some pieces in a trade. I do NOT think the Pirates have played “the market perfectly” because we still are short a starting pitcher and there are very few stellar candidates left (except the big boys who will cost a ton).


Getting James Loney at a reasonable price just got more likely. It won’t happen till round the Holidays though. If Milwaukee or Seattle don’t value him at 8mil+ he is probably ours as Tampa likely wont offer more than 2x6m, and Houston has internal options and is keeping payrole tight during the rebuild.

Loney at 2×7 bring it on baby!


I don’t know about the “Astros keeping payroll tight during the rebuild” part…they have already committed an extra $17.5M towards payroll for next year with their Feldman deal and their acquisition of Dexter Fowler…and according to their GM they still are not done. They want more starting pitching and are willing to spend for help in the bullpen. It would not be a surprise to see them add a total additional payroll of around $25M this offseason

Stephen Brooks

Seattle is not in the market for a first baseman. They have an incumbent they actually like in Justin Smoak. They might need a DH if Morales signs elsewhere, but that doesn’t need to be filled by one of the guys on the above list.

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