Free agent catcher Mike Napoli, who might have been on the radar for the Chicago White Sox, might be wearing different color sox in 2013. Reports are that Napoli is currently in discussions with the Boston Red Sox and is holding out for a fourth year to be added to a potential deal.
Napoli is also going to be meeting with the Seattle Mariners, who according to reports might be willing to offer him the fourth year on a deal. Either way, it looks like the White Sox aren’t even on the list.
There are a few ways this impacts the White Sox. Firstly, it might truly indicate that the White Sox are willing to give Tyler Flowers the starting catcher spot in 2013. That means that the White Sox might be looking at signing a backup for Flowers if they want to give Josh Phegley more at bats in Triple-A Charlotte.
I have already talked about other catchers that the White Sox might be interested in with a previous article. You can find that here. All of those catchers are also potential starters in case Flowers struggles.
Napoli not being on the White Sox radar could also be a good thing for the White Sox since they are trying to resign Kevin Youkils. It looks like Napoli is asking for a lot of money and a four-year contract. The White Sox aren’t willing to give him that money or the four-year contract.
Now, before White Sox fans get angry that the team doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, listen up: perhaps the money that Napoli wanted is the money that the White Sox want to present to Youkilis.
It also indicates that the White Sox might feel comfortable at catcher with Flowers and Phegley. Phegley does seem ready to play in the MLB.
The White Sox seem to have catching depth. They just signed Bryan Anderson, who used to be a top prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals. Anderson didn’t hit well for the Cardinals in their minor league system but perhaps the White Sox could fix that. He is only 25, still young.
My feeling is if the Red Sox and Mariners want to give Napoli a bunch of money, then let them. The White Sox shouldn’t get into a bidding war for Napoli regardless of how good he is. Save the money and the bidding for Youkilis.
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