• Napoli happy with speedy contract agreement


    BOSTON (AP) - Mike Napoli is thrilled to be back with players who helped make last season what he says was the best time of his eight-year career.

    One day after finalizing a $32 million, two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, Napoli says it's a relief to get that done so soon. Last year he didn't have a deal until late January as he and the team altered the original agreement when it learned of a condition in both hips.

    He ended up with a $5 million guarantee rather than a $39 million, three-year deal, but he stayed healthy and earned an additional $8 million in performance bonuses for the World Series champions.

    General manager Ben Cherington says the new contract has no protection for the team against the hip condition.

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