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Mike Napoli update, and some other Red Sox notes

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 25, 2012 05:23 PM

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Free agent first baseman and catcher Mike Napoli was in Boston on Saturday and not only did he meet with general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell, but he also met with owner John Henry, according to team sources.

That can be taken of a sign of how interested the Red Sox are in Napoli. Henry has been focused on Napoli going back to September.

Napoli is expected to meet with the Texas Rangers this week. He previously sat down with the Seattle Mariners. Napoli is seeking a four-year contract

Napoli has primarily been a catcher, but the Red Sox view him as a first baseman who could also catch and occasionally DH. He hit only .227 last season for the Rangers but had an .812 OPS. Napoli is a career .259 hitter with a .507 slugging percentage.

While a four-year contract might seem excessive, the Red Sox could view Napoli as a first baseman and catcher for two seasons then as more as a designated hitter in 2015 if David Ortiz has retired.

Also:

Former Red Sox coach DeMarlo Hale is leaving the Orioles coaching staff after one season to become the bench coach under John Gibbons in Toronto. Hale interviewed for the managerial jobs with the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

Hale was the third base coach in Baltimore.

The mayor of Fort Myers, Fla., says his city should have let the Red Sox go to Sarasota rather than build them a new facility.

Daisuke Matsuzaka would like to pitch for the Padres according to the The San Diego Union-Tribune. You watch, Matsuzaka will have a decent 2013 season. He will be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and pitching in the National League will help him.

The Padres are set to make former Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure their bullpen coach.

Nate Spears, who played in seven games for the Red Sox the last two seasons, has signed a minor league deal with Cleveland. No surprise there given that Terry Francona has always spoke highly of the infielder.

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