GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Sports

December 3, 2012

Crunch Time

Napoli will help

The Red Sox signing of slugging first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli has drawn mixed reviews from Red Sox fans, but Napoli surely makes the team better.

Napoli is a right handed power hitter and while his career average hovers around .260, he has hit .305 at Fenway Park during his career. I for one am happy to see Napoli in a Sox uniform rather than an opposing uniform so he can pound the Sox pitching as he has done with regularity in the past.

Critics have complained about Napoli’s strikeouts and low career batting average, but playing at Fenway 80 times a year gives him the chance for 35 home runs and 100 RBIs, that’s a fair tradeoff.

Napoli gives the Sox a power bat in the middle of the order, and by giving him three years the odds of him becoming dead money are unlikely.

With that said the Red Sox are still a long way from relevancy and still have the worst team in the AL East on paper. That will not change until the team addresses its pitching issues, and it looks like the players aren’t there for the Sox to make a drastic improvement at the position in 2013.

Wilson a free agent

The San Francisco Giants did not tender a 2013 contract to former Londonderry High pitcher Brian Wilson, making the right-handed closer a free agent.

He is someone the Red Sox should at least inquire about.

The 30-year-old’s 2012 season ended after just two appearances when he had to undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

He is a three-time All-Star who led the National League with 48 saves in 2010. He then went on to save six games in the ‘10 playoffs, leading the Giants to a World Series title.

Wilson has 171 saves and a 3.21 ERA during his career.

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