Mike Napoli, who agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with the Sox on Friday night, ended up representing a similarly striking demonstration of the value of having created an environment where players want to be. The Red Sox managed to retain a middle-of-the-order power hitter on a deal that fits squarely within the team's preferred model of shorter-term contracts for higher salaries.
According to an industry source, the first baseman had at least one offer of three guaranteed years on the table. He could have made more money than the $32 million where he landed. And at one point on Friday – a head-spinning day of megadeals – the gap between what the Sox offered and what Napoli was sufficient to create some pessimism about the player's return to Boston.
Both Napoli and Pedrioa want to play for a winning team, and Boston is the best place for them to do that.