Texas Rangers: Could Mike Napoli Be Traded At The Deadline?

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 16: Mike Napoli (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 16: Mike Napoli (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of year again and the trade rumors are in full force this July. Recent rumors have the Rangers pitching staff on the trade block, but could slugger Mike Napoli be on the move as well?

It’s mid-July and the direction of the Texas Rangers is still unclear. A talented roster loaded with one-year veterans, but can’t seem to put the whole picture together. If the Rangers continue to crumble should Mike Napoli be on his way out of Arlington?

In the off-season slugger Mike Napoli was a huge steal for the Rangers. After putting up career highs in multiple offensive categories Nap decided to cash-in and rejoin the Rangers. He signed a one-year deal worth $8.5 million and a team option for ’18.

The 35-year-old slugger has been all or nothing at the plate and it’s beginning to be worrisome. This season Napoli is batting .194 with 18 home runs and 39 RBI in 72 games. He’s currently posting a -0.2 WAR, and could be headed on his way out.

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One of the few prospects the Rangers have not raced to the MLB has been Ronald Guzman. The 22-year-old continues to crush the ball at Triple-A Round Rock, and has earned an opportunity on the Rangers club.

Through 82 games this season Guzman is hitting .316 with nine home runs and 42 RBI. He’s exceeding expectations and it would be surprising to see Guzman in the minors for much longer. Has he done enough to force the Rangers hand this August?

While Napoli has struggled heavily he still has trade value. He’s a veteran player with playoff experience and one powerful bat. It’s unlikely the Rangers get a huge return on Napoli, but something is better than nothing.

Let’s be realistic, Napoli is not getting younger and Guzman is the next guy in line. If the Rangers sell at the deadline then Napoli must be traded. He’s not doing much to help the team, and Guzman needs to get at-bats in the MLB.

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This Rangers team has not performed like expected and it’s time to get the younger players get at-bats. Trade Napoli and the rest of the one-year veterans, and embrace the future.