Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Things First: Who Plays First For Red Sox?

As the Mike 'What Is Hip?' Napoli soap opera moves beyond a month, the Red Sox have yet to settle one of the most important positions on the team: first base. The obvious concern with Napoli's hip has upped the urgency for finding a player who—as WEEI's Alex Speier points out—is more than just an insurance back-up. Any player Boston acquires will have to have the real potential of starting for extended periods of the season should Napoli's hip act up. This leaves precious few options out there—if the team really doesn't want to sacrifice a second-round pick (and the slot money for that pick) to sign Adam LaRoche. There are some trade options—Seattle's Justin Smoak probably tops this list. But the Napoli thing has—as the Bruce Willis character in Die Hard might say—"thrown a monkey into the wrench". We still believe that the best option is to walk away from Napoli, and sign LaRoche—either straight up or in a cute "sign and trade" deal with an even lousier team (that would involve only giving up a prospect rather than a draft pick).