Napoli's deal with Red Sox hits snag?

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Could Mike Napoli’s deal with the Boston Red Sox be in jeopardy?



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The Red Sox anticipated introducing Napoli at a news conference Tuesday, according to major-league sources, but did not go forward with the event.

Napoli, 31, reached agreement with the Red Sox on Dec. 3 on a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract, pending a physical.

Initial reports from and the Providence Journal said that Napoli’s physical was scheduled for last Wednesday, with an announcement expected at week’s end.

Napoli actually began his physical Monday morning, according to a source. The deal, however, is still not official.

Neither Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington nor Napoli’s agent, Brian Grieper, responded to requests for comment.

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Free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino, who also agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox, is scheduled to take his physical Wednesday and hold his introductory news conference Thursday, sources said.

Napoli, who has played in more than 114 games only once in his career, missed more than a month last season with a strained left quadriceps and more than three weeks in 2011 with a strained left oblique.

He also suffered a severely sprained left ankle in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, but appeared in Game 7 and was ready for the start of the 2012 season.

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