Had the Red Sox signed Mike Napoli for $5 million and simply locked him in a closet, it would be money well spent. It’s hard to put a price on the damage Napoli has done to the Sox over the years, and one of the added benefits of acquiring him is no longer having to face him.
In 38 career games against the Red Sox, Napoli blasted 15 homers with 33 RBI and a 1.075 OPS. In Fenway Park, his numbers are even better — .306-7-17 in 19 games, with a 1.107 OPS.
So it’s easy to understand why some of the most excited people to see Napoli in a Red Sox uniform are Red Sox pitchers.

“You kind of wonder, ‘How are other teams getting this guy out?’ ” reliever Daniel Bard said. “He’s obviously putting up good numbers overall, but I think we were helping out a lot. We couldn’t figure out how to get him out. It’s good to have that guy on your side for a change.”
Napoli has made victims of most members of the current staff, whether it’s two-time All-Star Jon Lester (.400, 2 HR, 1.337 OPS), one-time Cy Young candidate Clay Buchholz (.333, HR, 1.167 OPS), former teammate John Lackey (HR, 1.056 OPS), promising left-hander Felix Doubront (.333, HR), steady reliever Craig Breslow (.400, .900 OPS) or even set-up man Koji Uehara (1-for-1).
“When he comes up, you know he has bad intentions,” Buchholz said. “He wants to hit the ball hard.”
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