Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have expressed interest in free-agent catcher Mike Napoli, according to separate reports. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter on Monday that the Yankees were intrigued by adding Napoli.
Mike Napoli, the Texas #Rangers free-agent catcher, is drawing interest from the New York #Yankees
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 12, 2012
Earlier on Monday, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox had also begun "extensive background work" on potentially adding Napoli as a catcher, first baseman or some combination thereof.
The 31-year-old Napoli is known for his prowess in the batter's box more than his defense behind the plate. In 2011, his breakout season, he hit .320 with 30 homers and a 1.045 OPS. Last year, he hit only .227, but he had 24 homers and an .816 OPS. He and A.J. Pierzynski are the most desirable catchers on the free-agent market this winter. The Yankees have an open slot at catcher, with Russell Martin also on the free-agent market. He is reportedly drawing interest from at least five other clubs, though the Yankees would like to bring him back.