Napoli taking trade buzz in stride

Napoli taking trade buzz in stride

BOSTON -- With Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, outfielder Shane Victorino may not be the only veteran shipped off by the Red Sox this week. First baseman Mike Napoli, who is set to become a free agent this winter, has also been mentioned in trade rumors.

But the 33-year-old slugger has already experienced Deadline week plenty of times, and he's doing his best to ignore the possibility that he could be wearing another uniform in the coming days.

It's something that's out of my control," Napoli said before Tuesday's game against the White Sox. "I come here, work hard every day to get myself better, go out there, play hard and try to help us win that day. It's something I don't really think about. I come here and get my work in and do what I can."

Napoli has indeed gotten better at the plate of late, hitting .345 (10-for-29) with a .992 OPS in nine games since the All-Star break. That stretch stands in stark contrast to his first-half performance, which saw Napoli struggle to a .193 batting average.

Napoli said he is unsure how he would feel about leaving Boston. Victorino became emotional after learning he'd been traded to the Angels on Monday.

Emotional Victorino traded to Angels

"I don't know. I guess I'll answer that if it happens," Napoli said. "I love this place. I bought a place here, I live here. Love this city, love the people here. I've really enjoyed it. If that time comes, I'll touch on my thoughts then."

For the Red Sox players, Victorino's departure signals that the front office is starting to build toward future seasons. And as the team possibly prepares to make more moves in line with that approach, manager John Farrell said he plans on addressing that with the players.

"I think it's probably best as we get through this next few days," Farrell said, "It's kind of a mark on the calendar that you, I don't want to say take a completely different direction, but I think there are some things that are obvious. And if it affects an individual, then that's where a sit down one-on-one comes into play a little bit more readily."

Quote to note

"It seems now they've got about six middle-of-the-order bats in that lineup. For a high-scoring offense before Tulowitzki got there, that's going to be an imposing right-handed-hitting lineup. We don't seem them for a while yet, but still, a marquee name that maybe at one point you didn't think was movable. And yet he's in our division. That lineup was a good one. Now it's become an extremely strong one." -- Farrell, on the Blue Jays acquiring shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies

Worth noting

• Utility man Brock Holt (hyperextended knee) was held out of Tuesday's starting lineup for the second game in a row. The team expects to have him back on Wednesday.

"Improved today. He went through full baseball activity. Ground balls, took some swings, he ran with change of direction," Farrell said. "He's available tonight, but [we] thought it was best to give him one more day to get back over this."

• Infielder Josh Rutledge, acquired in the Victorino trade, is expected to arrive in Boston on Wednesday. The Red Sox have yet to announce the corresponding move for his addition to the active roster.

• Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection on Monday.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.