First baseman Mike Napoli made it clear after the World Series that he wanted to stay with the Red Sox. He liked his first season in Boston so much that he stuck around for a few weeks after the World Series.
Team officials also wanted Napoli back and on Friday night a two-year, $32 million deal was reached.
“The beard is coming back to Boston!!! Couldn’t be happier!!” Napoli posted on Twitter at 9:09 p.m.
The Red Sox had competition from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Miami Marlins on Friday, another busy day for baseball moves. That served to bring the agreement into place.
At least one team, perhaps the Rangers, had a more lucrative three-year deal on the table, according to major league sources. But Napoli elected to stay with the Red Sox because of how much he valued his comfort in Boston. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.