8. Who’s first to back up first?
After some lengthy contract negotiations, Mike Napoli enters the 2013 season as the Red Sox’ starting first baseman. The veteran has maintained that he’s healthy and ready to go, having felt no ill effects of his hip condition thus far, but one has to wonder how much rest he’ll require throughout the course of the season to remain fresh. Napoli’s uncertain future was enough for the Red Sox to get him far below what they originally intended to pay, so it should also be enough for the team to make sure a solid backup plan is in place. As we enter the spring, Lyle Overbay, who signed a minor league deal, looks like he could crack the Opening Day roster. Mauro Gomez and Mark Hamilton, however, will try to prove their worth, and we could end up having an open competition for the very important role of backup first baseman.