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Sports

December 5, 2012

Victorino, Red Sox near $39M, 3-yr deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Free agent outfielder Shane Victorino and the Boston Red Sox are close to completing a three-year deal worth $39 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Tuesday

The person, speaking at the baseball winter meetings under condition of anonymity because the contract wasn’t finalized, said paperwork for the contract was being completed.

Victorino hit a combined .255 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs last season for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also stole a career-high 39 bases. The Dodgers obtained Victorino in a late July trade with the Phillies.

Nicknamed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Victorino tweeted that he planned to spend the day in Maui on a snorkeling trip aboard the Alii Nui catamaran.

“Amazingly beautiful day,” he tweeted.

A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino turned 32 Friday. He also had been pursued by the Cleveland Indians.

Victorino played mostly center field for the Phillies and shifted to left with the Dodgers. He likely would play right field for the Red Sox but could shift to center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or leaves as a free agent after next season.

Boston finished last in the AL East this season and is trying to boost its offense. On Monday, the Red Sox reached a $39 million, three-year contract with Mike Napoli, an All-Star catcher with Texas this year.

“We see him as a first baseman primarily, but with the ability to catch,” new manager John Farrell said. “We would have him catch in spring training early on, but then certainly make sure that we’ve got enough reps at first base for not only him to feel comfortable there, but for us as well.”

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