Texas Rangers: Should the Team Keep Mike Napoli for 2018?
By Andrew Webb
The fans in Arlington got what they wished for when the organization signed slugger Mike Napoli over last off-season. This was Napoli’s third time with the Rangers, and could it be his last?
The Texas Rangers didn’t get exactly what they imagined when they signed Mike Napoli to a one-year deal worth $8.5 million. The 35-year-old was coming off a career year with the Cleveland Indians, and Texas thought they were getting a middle of the order slugger.
Instead, Napoli hit .193 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 124 games with Texas. He finished with a -0.4 WAR, and fit right in with the all-or-nothing theme of 2017. He finished third in homers on the team, but Texas needed someone who could do more than hit bombs.
The 2017 regular season is over now, and the Rangers need to fix the problems that hurt them all season long. That begins with acquiring some players that can drive in run without having to hit the long ball.
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Napoli has an $11 million team option for 2017, but it’s going to be difficult convincing Texas to accept that. Young stud Joey Gallo can take over full-time duties at first base next season, and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will see most of his time at designated hitter.
The Rangers aren’t going to pay $11 million for a part-time designated hitter in Napoli. That money could be spent better off elsewhere within the organization. It was a nice reunion, but the two sides should go their separate ways in 2018.
There is absolutely no reason for the Rangers to consider picking up Napoli’s $11 million team option. His time in Texas should be over, but hopefully he can continue his career elsewhere in 2018.