|As expected, Napoli will return to Boston next year|
Napoli, who set career highs with 38 doubles and 92 RBI last year, also batted .259/.360/.482 with 23 home runs in his Red Sox debut. He played a surprisingly strong first base as well, rating as one of the league's top defenders at the position. To top it all off, he delivered several timely hits during Boston's title run, including a go-ahead solo home run off Justin Verlander in the LCS and a bases clearing double against Adam Wainwright in Game 1 of the World Series.
Given his age (32), the crazy amounts of money being thrown around this winter and the lack of available first basemen, Napoli probably could have gotten more money had he wanted to play elsewhere. But he chose to remain with Boston, and the Red Sox rewarded his allegiance with a multi-year deal that will pay him $16 million annually. Combined with the $13 million he earned last year, Napoli is getting a better deal compared to the three-year, $39 million contract he originally signed with Boston last winter, only to have that reduced to one year and five million dollars (plus another eight in performance incentives, which he earned). So, in total, he'll earn $45 million from his three seasons with Boston, which is exactly what Carlos Beltran just got from the New York Yankees.
Considering that Beltran's a future Hall of Famer, that's not bad company at all.