Napoli Expects To Test Free Agency

There was some talk that Mike Napoli’s breakout performance might earn him a long-term extension with the Rangers, but the catcher says talks of a deal have been “squashed” for the time being. Napoli told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he expects to hit free agency after the 2012 campaign.

“I’d love to be here, but I’ll test the market,” Napoli said. “Every player plays to get to free agency. But it’s not something I’m going to worry about. That’s why I have my agent.”

Brian Grieper of Paragon Sports International represents Napoli, who hit 30 home runs and posted a .320/.414/.631 line in 2011. The 30-year-old will earn $9.4MM on a one-year deal this coming season.

Yadier Molina recently agreed to a five-year extension that appears to be worth $75MM. Napoli offers far more power than Molina, but less defensive value. Victor Martinez, a possible comparable for Napoli, signed a four-year, $50MM deal with the Tigers during the 2010-11 offseason. The 2012-13 free agent class for catchers also includes Miguel Montero, Russell Martin, and Chris Iannetta. It doesn't appear that Montero or Martin will sign extensions before the offseason.

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