Rangers Hopeful Of Multiyear Extension With Napoli

The Rangers are "optimistic" about signing Mike Napoli to a long-term contract this winter, a source tells FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi (Twitter link).  Napoli is under control through just 2012, and he projects to earn $9.2MM in his third trip through the arbitration process, according to Matt Swartz's arbitration-calculating model.

Napoli was one of baseball's breakout stars last year, posting a .320/.414/.631 line and 30 homers in 432 plate appearances for Texas, plus a big postseason performance that likely would've included a World Series MVP trophy had the Rangers won the Fall Classic.  He played mostly catcher last season, though also saw significant time at first base and DH as the Rangers tried to find enough playing time for Napoli, Michael Young, Yorvit Torrealba and Mitch Moreland.

The book on Napoli going into 2011 was that he was a defensive liability behind the plate and that he couldn't hit right-handed pitching.  Napoli ended up being a decent defensive catcher (much to Mike Scioscia's chagrin) and posted virtually equal numbers against both righties and lefties last year, so while his bat obviously plays best at catcher, he is also a solid fit at both first and DH in case he needs to be moved in the later years of a multiyear contract.

An extension would easily net Napoli an average annual value of more than $10MM per season, so something like a four-year, $48MM contract (with maybe a club option or two) would be a great fit for the Rangers while still providing some flexibility should Napoli not be able to repeat his breakout campaign. 

From Napoli's perspective, a long-term deal would give him security and since Texas was where he was embraced and delivered his best season, it seems natural he would want to stay put.  If Napoli didn't sign an extension and had another big year in 2012, however, he would be in line for a huge contract as (by far) the best-hitting catcher on the market and one of the best free agent hitters overall. 


50 Responses to Rangers Hopeful Of Multiyear Extension With Napoli Leave a Reply

  1. EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

    Cool.

  2. Melvin McMurf 4 years ago

    remind me again why we traded him for vernon wells

  3. baycommuter 4 years ago

    Ten years from now, Mike Napoli will be cited as proof that you shouldn’t give your team’s manager too much power, no matter how good he is tactically.

  4. Frank Drebin 4 years ago

    Thanks “AA,” you “genius!”

    • Most everyone agrees that AA lost that trade, but most people (As Tim pointed out in the last chat) also think the trade made a lot of sense for the Jays at the time.

    • paul_oneills_lovechild 4 years ago

      Frank:
      It’s the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy,
      boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp
      accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.

      Jane:
      Goodyear?

      Frank:
      No, the worst.

  5. Adam Duncan 4 years ago

    Good for them. Napoli is a freakin’ monster.

  6. Adam Duncan 4 years ago

    Good for them. Napoli is a freakin’ monster.

  7. WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

    Okay if i were the Rangers then id wait and make sure this past year isnt a fluke. Then give him an extension if he continues to produce. 

    Edit: spelled a word wrong.

    • and if he produces, then he just goes to FA.

      • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

        my fault, i thought he had 2 more years. but that was before 2011 lol. 
        Maybe they could have contract negotiations during the season? you never know.

    • Tony DiQuattro 4 years ago

      Same situation as Bautista last year

  8. It’s a little premature to call him a star or the best hitting catcher in MLB. He had a great second half, not a great season. 

    But 4 years $48 million still is very reasonable, like the post says, in case he is unable to repeat his performance.

    • I agree with you on most of that, except Napoli was solid throughout nearly the whole year. He slumped really only once where his average dipped to like .220, but that was just because it was extremely early in the season and he wasn’t getting alot of at-bats.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “He had a great second half, not a great season. ”

      wOBA by month

      april .473 (beast mode)
      may .338 (just above average)
      june .208 (8 games)
      july .550 (god mode)
      aug .411 (votto mode)
      sept .563 (like a boss)

      so yea, no. great season

      • Dynasty22 4 years ago

        A boss is over a God?

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        That’s a .424 wOBA. According to your system, that’s above “Votto Mode.” That sounds like a great season to me.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          keep in mind that he didn’t play the same number of games each month, so his full season wOBA was actually .444, the best in the majors

          if you adjust it for park factors, though, he falls to third – just behind ryan braun and jose bautista. pretty decent company

    •  Reading comprehension evades you.  The article CLEARLY states that if the Rangers don’t extend Napoli, he will easily be the best hitting catcher going into free agency at the end of 2012.

      It says nothing about him being the best hitting catcher in ALL of baseball, though such an argument could be made.

  9. This could end up being the best use of money we (Rangers) could possibly spend. There are so few great catchers (defense+offense) anymore (Weiters, McCann, Molina, Posey, Maur and possibly Arencibia) that you can’t let them get away.
    I grew up idolizing Pudge, and i’ve been waiting for us to have another catcher that is even remotely good since.
    Napoli is no Pudge, but then again nobody since Pudge (in his prime) has been even close.

    • Not so sure about McCann’s defense and it is probably a little too soon to put JPA on that list.

    • John McFadin 4 years ago

      I highly doubt Napoli ever has a season like this again.  An inflated BABIP says he’s due for some regression.  Bleacher creature is right.  Signing him now means paying for an inflated BA.  Plus, I think he will regress somewhat defensively, also.

      EDIT: You also have to expect his walk rate to go down to normal career averages (still very good) and his K rate to increase some. I’m not so sure what we (Rangers) should do, considering that Jon Stark, below me, is also right. We have to pounce now or lose him to FA, but pouncing now could possibly mean a massive overpay.

      • Rangers4Life 4 years ago

        I doubt he will ever have another year like this too, but the thing is that even if he does regress a bit, his numbers would still be pretty darn good consodering he’s a catcher.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        full BABIP regression would bring him to a wOBA around .400. for a catcher, that’s crazytown

      • While I see your point, I still believe you have to take the calculated risk. Good catchers are hard to come by and you have to keep them. Consider how well he worked with our pitching staff.

      • kevmill21 4 years ago

        playing the statistical trends is one thing, but then bleacher thing is right on one hand.  he did change hitting coaches, and changed his approach A LOT as far as his 2 strike approach. 

        i don’t know, its a tough spot, just like joey b, go all in now as far as years, and hope he produces, or go all in with everyone else and as far as aav and years if he does produce and makes it to FA

  10. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    It’s crazy to see his 5.6 fWAR in 113 games. If he played 162 games, that’s the equivilency of 8 fWAR. Insane.

    • Tony DiQuattro 4 years ago

      I’m a Napoli fan, but that’s with favorable matchups and rest from catching.  If you assume a catcher can hit .300 and play 162 games behind the plate, of course they’re gonna have a huge WAR.

      •  And assuming the Rangers pay Torrealba $3M to sit on the bench the ENTIRE season… get real

  11. MrBaseball29 4 years ago

    Won’t happen. There’s a reason Wilson and lee left. Napolia and J Ham are next

    • John McFadin 4 years ago

      This makes about as much sense as farting into a cup and smelling it for a recreational activity.

    • I would expect more intelligent statements from someone who calls himself MrBaseball.

  12. Madman2TX 4 years ago

    I think a 3 yr deal with a team option sounds good. Barring injury, I don’t see why Napoli can’t post the same or better numbers in Arlington next season.

  13. AmericanMovieFan 4 years ago

    Given Napoli’s age and comparable FA contracts for power hitting DH/Catchers, I would think Napoli is looking for a minimum of 5 years/$65MM.

    • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

      Rangers should wait and see if Napoli can replicate his ’11 campaign. You don’t want to lock your franchise up with a Dunn or Wells type of deal.

      • I bet you do want the Rangers to wait lol so the Yanks can try to bid on him.

        • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

          Nope we’ve got someone called Jesus Montero who in a couple seasons will be a top-5 hitter. I would think twice before locking up a perhaps one year wonder in Napoli, just a thought.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      that’s way too much

  14. alxn 4 years ago

    Remember that time Blue Jays fans told me Napoli would be non-tendered. lol.

  15. Rangers4Life 4 years ago

    And if he does give you a solid full season next year his value skyrockets, and it is already pretty darn high right now. The Rangers only have him under team control for one more year you know.

  16. Frank Drebin 4 years ago

    FO REALZ. HOLLA BACK.

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