Boston Red Sox retain Mike Napoli

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Mike Napoli has agreed a two-year deal worth $32m with the Boston Red Sox, the team's official website has confirmed.

The first baseman was always tipped to remain at Fenway Park after winning the World Series with the franchise in 2013.

It was reported last week that Napoli had agreed a two-year deal and it was officially announced yesterday that the Red Sox have retained him.

Napoli, 32, helped the team to their third World Series batting .259, with 23 home runs and also set a career high RBI score on 92, 129 hits, 38 doubles, 63 extra base hits, 79 runs and 73 walks.

“The beard is coming back to Boston!!! Couldn’t be happier!!” Napoli posted on Twitter last week.

The veteran turned down interest from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Miami Marlins with the Rangers reportedly offering a more lucrative deal to move south.

He had agreed a $39m three-year deal with the Red Sox last December but saw it shortened to one year and $5m after he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a degenerative hip condition.

Controlled by medication, Napoli managed 498 at-bats in 139 regular season games, allowing him to earn $8m in bonuses and convincing management that he is worth a longer term deal.

Napoli is one of just 11 major league players who have hit 20 home runs in each of the last six seasons.

The deal will see him earn $16m a season, making him the highest paid player on Boston's roster.

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