Tag Archives: mike napoli

Tigers win big in shedding Prince Fielder’s contract

Give lots of credit to Dave Dombrowski; the potential nightmare back half of Prince Fielder‘s nine-year, $214 million contract is no more.

Instead, Fielder and the $168 million he’s still owed is gone after two mildly disappointing seasons in Detroit, with Ian Kinsler‘s more palatable deal coming back. There will be some cash also going to Texas, but not so much as to make this look like anything but a win for Detroit.

Kinsler, who is owed $62 million for four years or $67 million for five if his option is picked up, supplants free agent Omar Infante as the Tigers’ second baseman. He won’t replace Fielder’s bat in the cleanup spot, but he can be just as valuable of a player, depending on how much of Fielder’s decline these last two years is for real.

Most importantly, the move shores up Detroit’s defense by getting Miguel Cabrera back to first base where he belongs. Now the Tigers can also return top prospect Nick Castellanos to his original position of third base. He was moved to left field last year because of Cabrera’s presence a the hot corner.

As of this moment, it looks like the trade frees up $8 million for the Tigers to spend this winter, though that depends on the schedule of the cash payments to Texas. If the Tigers aren’t confident in Castellanos, they could go sign Juan Uribe to play third base. They can also use some of the savings on their bullpen. For the long haul, that Fielder cash may be earmarked for a new Max Scherzer deal. Scherzer, the Al Cy Young Award winner, is a free agent after next season.

The Rangers get better on the field with the one-for-one deal, but it’s at a cost of inheriting one of the game’s worst contract. Most likely, Fielder will put up a better line next year than the .279/.362/.457 he hit while going through a divorce in a career-worst 2013 season. He’s just turning 30 in May, and while his body type suggests an early decline is quite possible, he probably has at least one or two more .900-OPS seasons in him. Also, the Rangers now have their spot freed up for young Jurickson Profar, who will step in at second base and could be an All-Star come 2015 or 2016.

Still, the Rangers didn’t need to go this route. They could have signed Mike Napoli for something like $45 million over three years. They could have shifted Kinsler to the outfield or traded him for a youngster or two, perhaps without eating any portion of his salary. Going after Fielder instead looks like an ownership move more along the lines of what we’ve come to expect from the Angels (Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols). It should work out fine for a couple of years, but what comes afterwards could get ugly.

Could Mike Napoli return to the Rangers?

Mike Napoli spent two years with the Rangers before latching on with the Red Sox last offseason. Now there’s increased chatter that a return to Texas could be in his future.
 

Napoli made a total of 51 starts at first base during his time with the Rangers, but he was pushed into regular duty at the position with the Red Sox this season due to his hip condition. It’s stands to reason that he would get more comfortable at the position now that his days as a catcher are over. The Rangers could really use an upgrade at first base, but it would be a bit of a surprise if Napoli didn’t return to the Red Sox. It looks like he has found a home there. Getting some interest from Texas might give him the leverage he needs to secure a multi-year deal from Boston, at the very least.

Mike Napoli ready to increase activity after MRI shows hip condition hasn’t worsened

Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli originally agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox, but it was adjusted to a one-year contract after he was diagnosed with a hip condition called avascular necrosis. Doctors caught it early and Napoli hasn’t displayed any symptoms, but the Red Sox are still being extra careful.

According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, Napoli was sent for an MRI this week which showed that his hip condition hasn’t worsened. He’ll now be permitted to increase activity, including taking grounders from his knees and treadmill work. Napoli concedes that he’s “not a full go,” but he’s not feeling any pain and expects to be ready for Opening Day.

Napoli, 31, batted .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs, 56 RBI and an .812 OPS in 108 games with the Rangers last season. If all goes according to plan, he’ll function as Boston’s starting first baseman in 2013.

Mike Napoli thanks Rangers fans on Twitter

Former Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli has officially joined the Boston Red Sox and a few hours ago tweeted a thanks to the Rangers fans:

 

I have to admit that the “NAP-O-LI” chant was one of the best things of the club’s playoff run in 2011. It was loud, and Napoli was really thankful for that kind of support.

But Napoli can play more in Boston than he would in Texas. If he can play well, he can turn that into a bigger deal in the future. Count me among those wishing Napoli the best. If he can get that swing going again, Fenway Park could suit him well.

By the way, Napoli’s Twitter account still shows him clapping in a Rangers uniform (I’m pretty sure it’s after his big double in Game 5 of the 2011 World Series, isn’t it?).

 

Mike Napoli reveals hip condition: avascular necrosis

mike-napoli-gettyFrom Hardball Talk

That Mike Napoli ended up accepting a one-year, $5 million guarantee from the Red Sox after originally agreeing to a three-year, $39 million contract suggested that something pretty bad was going on with his hip. The details came out today, courtesy of Napoli’s agent: Napoli was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both of his hips.

Avascular necrosis is pretty much what it sounds like: the death of bone due to a lack of blood supply. According to Wikipedia, it’s most common in the hip, though it can also take place at the shoulder, knee and other joints.

The 31-year-old Napoli has experienced no symptoms as a result of the condition. According to his agent, it was caught at the very early stages, having been revealed in the Red Sox’s original physical. While people with avascular necrosis of the hip often end up needing a total hip replacement, that appears to be many years off in this case, if it ever proves necessary at all.

Bo Jackson’s is the most famous case of avascular necrosis, with his developing after he injured his hip in an NFL game. He later returned to baseball and the major leagues, but he was never the same kind of athlete.

Brett Favre was also diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip in 1992. He never required surgery and did OK for himself playing football for a couple of decades.

The Red Sox are planning on Napoli being their everyday first baseman this season after finalizing the contract. Playing the position should definitely be easier on his body than catching. Napoli said he’s on medication to help stave off any symptoms and that he’s really excited for the season to start up.

UPDATE: Mike Napoli, Red Sox reach a one-year deal — for only $5 million!

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UPDATE: Yes, there are incentives, and if reached, they can boost the deal up to $13 million or so.  Still, the fact that it’s a $5 million base does suggest that the Red Sox were truly spooked by Napoli’s health.

10:20 AM: Wow!  Heyman reports that the Napoli deal is for only $5 million!  That’s is crazy-low given where the sides were at previously.  One has to assume the deal is laden with incentives. Or that Napoli basically doesn’t have a functioning hip.

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Report: Red Sox want to reduce Mike Napoli’s contract to one year

Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox over a month ago, but the two sides are currently discussing an amended contract after an issue with his health (believed to be one of his hips) was revealed during his pre-signing physical. We now have some details on what the Red Sox have in mind.

 

 

In other words, Napoli would only get one guaranteed year. We have previously heard that the two sides were working through “hip language” in the contract, so it’s possible that the Red Sox could include a vesting option if he reaches a certain number of plate appearances or doesn’t land on the disabled list because of the hip. But it’s not clear whether that has been offered.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington wouldn’t get into any specifics on the negotiations when asked tonight, but was optimistic that a resolution will come “hopefully soon.” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this morning that the Red Sox have inquired about the Nationals’ Michael Morse as a potential fallback if a deal with Napoli can’t be reached.

Hip problem causing Red Sox’s delay signing Mike Napoli

From Hardball Talkx35016-e1353624330653

It’s now been three weeks since Mike Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox and no official announcement has been made, leading to lots of speculation about what might be causing the holdup.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Napoli “has a problem with one of his hips” which also “led the Mariners to back off their pursuit of him” earlier in the offseason.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has avoided any meaningful comments on the situation, saying stuff like “we’re working through some issues” when asked why Napoli remains unsigned, which Rosenthal speculates means the pre-signing physical exam revealed some red flags and Boston wants to re-work the language in his contract to lessen their long-term risk.

That’s similar to what the Red Sox did with J.D. Drew years ago, when they waited nearly two months to announce his signing and ended up putting a clause in his $70 million contract that protected them should his shoulder problems become a major issue.

For now at least there’s no indication that either side will try to back out of the deal completely.

 

Mike Napoli “plays with a vengeance” against the Angels

From Hardball Talk

Mike Napoli‘s six seasons with the Angels were filled with good production and fans clamoring for manager Mike Scioscia to play him more at catcher instead of light-hitting defensive specialist Jeff Mathis.

Napoli was traded away in January of 2011 and his two seasons since leaving the Angels have been filled with crushing his former team.

Yesterday that included Napoli going 3-for-3 with two homers off former batterymate Ervin Santana and six RBIs as the Rangers all but extinguished the Angels’ playoff chances.

He’s now played 33 total games against the Angels during the past two seasons, hitting .396 with 12 homers, 10 doubles, and an .829 slugging percentage while getting on base exactly 50 percent of the time.

Or, put another way:

Napoli for the Angels: .831 OPS Napoli since leaving the Angels: .936 OPS Napoli against the Angels: 1.329 OPS

When asked about Napoli’s performance, Torii Hunter said it best: “He plays with a vengeance. I hate that he’s doing it, but that’s how you really make a statement.”

Clinched! Rangers finally secure playoff spot after Mike Napoli crushes ex-club

Texas catcher Mike Napoli is greeted at the dugout by jubilant teammates after his second home run of the night, this one in the third inning, which gave the Rangers a 6-4 lead during the Los Angeles Angels vs. the Texas Rangers major league baseball doubleheader game 2 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mike Napoli homered twice and drove in six runs as the Texas Rangers assured themselves and two other teams of spots in the playoffs with a 8-7 victory Sunday night, earning a doubleheader split against the Los Angeles Angels.

Napoli’s second homer in the nightcap was a go-ahead three-run shot in the third.

Two-time defending AL champion Texas (93-66) can be no worse than a wild card. The Rangers clinch their third consecutive AL West title by winning once in a three-game series at Oakland that starts Monday.

Los Angeles, which won Sunday’s opener 5-4, trails the A’s by three games for the AL’s second wild card.

The loss by the Angels (88-71) also clinched playoffs spots for Baltimore and the New York Yankees, who are tied for the AL East lead.