Sports

Red Sox ‘hopeful’ of a deal with Mike Napoli

A major league source said Monday night that the Red Sox are working toward a contract agreement with first baseman Mike Napoli and are “hopeful” of getting it done.

Napoli agreed to terms on a three-year, $39 million deal Dec. 3. But an issue — believed to be a preexisting hip injury — was detected during Napoli’s physical Dec. 7. The sides have been working on an amended deal since but now seem to be closer to an agreement.

The Red Sox do not insure contracts, preferring to negotiate language that protects the team in the event of injury.

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Napoli, 31, remains a free agent. But he is not believed to have negotiated with any other teams since the initial agreement with the Red Sox. And while the Sox have not closed the door on other players, their focus has been on securing Napoli.

Napoli hit .227 for the Rangers last season with 24 home runs and 56 RBIs. He has 120 homers in the last five years.

Napoli has been primarily a catcher in his career, but the Red Sox signed him to play first base. Napoli has started 118 games at first base, all since 2010.

Getting with program

The Red Sox have 11 prospects in town this week for a program that includes two workouts a day and seminars regarding life off the field.

The group includes the top prospect in the organization, shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Other participants are pitchers Drake Britton, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Steven Wright; infielder Brock Holt; catchers Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez; and outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, and Alex Hassan.

Four of the players — De La Rosa, Holt, Webster, and Wright — were acquired by trade within the last six months.

The speakers include Sox chief executive officer Sam Kennedy, general manager Ben Cherington, and manager John Farrell. Jason Varitek, a special assistant to Cherington, will participate along with Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

The events will take place at Fenway Park and the indoor athletic facilities at Harvard.

Hanrahan on hand

New Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has never stepped foot in Fenway Park. That will change today when he takes a tour of the park. Hanrahan, who was acquired from the Pirates last month, is making the trip with his wife, who is from the area . . . Former Sox manager Bobby Valentine has joined NBC Sports Radio and will start a weekday show in April. Valentine has held a number of media jobs in his career, the last with ESPN before his difficult one season with the Sox. “I think in my years here on earth, I have let people know I have an opinion about pretty much everything,” Valentine told Sports Illustrated. “I think I will remain true to that.” Valentine had issues as a radio guest at times last year, once threatening to punch WEEI’s Glenn Ordway in the mouth after Ordway suggested Valentine had quit on the season. NBC Sports Radio can be heard in Boston on 1510 AM.

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