8:20pm: Napoli and the Rangers are discussing a two-year deal, reports Sullivan, and both sides are “highly motivated” to finalize a contract. However, an agreement is not yet imminent, according to Sullivan, who reports that Napoli is still receiving interest from other clubs. Sullivan lists the Athletics (as Grant speculated upon below) and, a bit more curiously, the Orioles as teams with potential interest.
Oakland could certainly use an offensive upgrade over Yonder Alonso at first base and did finish as a sort of runner up to the Indians in the Encarnacion sweepstakes. Baltimore, meanwhile, has an opening at designated hitter, and Napoli could also help to spell Chris Davis at first base from time to time there as well. The O’s have been more focused on outfielders as of late, however, making the link to Napoli a bit of a surprise.
DEC. 28, 5:45pm: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that with the holidays in the rear-view mirror, the Rangers have become more aggressive in their pursuit of Napoli. That meshes with a recent tweet from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, who reported that the market for Napoli has “intensified,” though Morosi also adds that the Rangers are one of multiple teams in the mix.
Earlier today, FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that Napoli aiming for a two-year deal. Per Heyman’s report, there’s a yet-unreported suitor in the mix for Napoli’s services. Grant speculates that Oakland could consider Napoli after missing out on Encarnacion, knowing he could be flipped in a trade later this year if he performs well.
DEC. 23: There’s a “strong possibility” that in the wake of Edwin Encarnacion’s three-year agreement with the Indians, free-agent slugger Mike Napoli will land with the Rangers, reports MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (on Twitter). While there’s no deal done between the two sides, Sullivan adds that there are indications that talks between the two sides are “hot.” Earlier today, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweeted that the Rangers had become the front-runners for Napoli now that Cleveland is out of the mix.
Napoli, 35, would give the Rangers a needed option at first base and/or designated hitter. Texas lost Prince Fielder due to persistent neck issues that forced him to abruptly retire earlier in 2016, and longtime Ranger Mitch Moreland has already inked a one-year deal with the Red Sox this winter. Napoli, as previously noted, is a known commodity for Rangers GM Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Banister, as he enjoyed a highly productive 35-game run with the Rangers in 2015 after being acquired from the Red Sox in an August swap and spent the 2011-12 seasons in a Rangers uniform as well.
Napoli hit .295/.396/.513 with the 2015 Rangers and went on to bat a solid .239/.335/.465 with a career-high 34 homers for the Indians this past year. That gives the slugger a .246/.342/.471 batting line and 39 home runs in 736 regular-season plate appearances dating back to when he was acquired by the Rangers in 2015. However, it’s also worth noting that Napoli was dreadful down the stretch for Cleveland in 2016, hitting just .157/.292/.279 over his final 40 games of the season. He also failed to turn things around in the postseason, hitting .173/.232/.288 as Cleveland made a deep run to Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs.
He is always there for the Rangers when they need him
Nap-O-Lee Nap-O-Lee. I can hear it already.
Nap po lee. Sucks
Party At NAPOLIS
Expected move and logical if kind of unexciting.
Get in the Hawper
1 year/$10 million is my guess.
Na. 1 yea/ 8.5 mill.
Get in the Hawper
That’s what TX has offered, I think he is holding out for $10. TX needs him now so figuring they’ll pony up
Sooooo, Napoli signs and they DFA Dragmire again and he gets claimed by……..the Pirates again??? Poor guy…..
Good pickup. Napoli knows how to win.
The guy knows how to strike out.and choke in the playoffs
Obviously there is no fit/room but i would love to see Napoli back in Boston. This guy brings so much off the field.
Gee guys… the man was hitting .100 for the year in August in 2015…give me a break.. 16 mil a year.. really
Exactly. He is horrible
I wish Boston had a spot for him, one of my favorite recent Red Sox players
Maybe you’ve forgotten about Allen Craig? Or maybe you’ve just tried to forget about him?
Yeah a prime example of about over paid… backs up to collect his check. Not sure how he looks in the mirror
He got advice from Dan Uggla.
He was one of my favs too, but hes hard to watch. You know hes gonna go up there and strike out every night. You just dont know how many times. Im so glad they didnt resign him. We already have jbj to look forward to being our designated out guy.
Me too. Loved his post championship celebration in Boston.
This is great for the Rangers. Napoli has incredible clubhouse leadership, the Ranger fans love him, and he allows the Rangers to have much needed payroll flexibility for next year.
One of my favorite players. Good luck .
Please note, though Fielder can’t play anymore, he hasn’t actually retired. Doing so would void the remainder of his fat contract.
No, but he can be removed from the 40-man roster. That’s what Baltimore did all those years ago with Albert Belle.
Fielders money is saved through insurance. Not all of it but majority. His injury is a null issue for the ranger financially moving forward
I think they are still paying something like 14m/yr
Yeah just saw lol. Was thinking it would be like David wrights but it’s not lol
It will be nice to see Nike Napoli with the Texas Rangers again.He likes playing over there.He even played left field in Texas, however he did not have much luck playing in the outfield.Napoli is a great first baseman and he had a good year with Cleveland. Let go Rangers.
I like the idea of Napoli back in Texas, but not for more than 2 years and 18 mil.
would love him back at Texas…2/18 sounds about right…BUT i also think morlands stats will be just as good or better next year…lol we’ll see
I love Napoli, but I just wouldn’t pay all that much for him on a 2 year deal. I’d max it out at $8m a year. As good as his power numbers were in 2016, he’s still a 1 WAR player in each of the last 2 years.
I really hope we get Napoli back, He’s one of my favorite players. NOW IF ONLY THESE MORONS WOULD BRING BACK STEVE BUSBY! Dave Raymond is so BORING!!! I have emailed the Texas Rangers and Fox Sport Southwest about this. Also posted on facebook and twitter. Whoever let Steve Busby go needs to put down the crack pipe!
I was a Steve Busby fan when he pitched for the Royals in early-mid 1970s. There’s a “what if” story. If only he was pitching on all those late 1970 KC Royals teams,….
Not sure I understand Oakland’s play here. An aging slugger, between two equal options, is not going to pick Oakland. They’re allowing themselves to be used by Napoli’s agent, as they allowed themselves to be used by EE’s agent.
Maybe they don’t care?