Texas Rangers: Smart Move Parting Ways With Mike Napoli?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 06: Mike Napoli (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 06: Mike Napoli (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers have announced that they will not be bringing Mike Napoli back in 2018. After bringing him to Arlington for the third time, expectations of him were high, however, he didn’t up to the expectations. The Rangers needed to act and they did. Their decision is to move on.

According to Evan Grant, Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels confirmed the decision yesterday. The Rangers have decided to pay Napoli the $2.5 million buyout that is part of the deal he signed last year.

Can’t say that this decision is a surprising one. Napoli struggled this year, finishing with a career-low batting average of .193. In September, he went down due to an injury. The decision to move on from Napoli is without a doubt a no-brainer.

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Moving on from Napoli is a smart move by the Rangers. It’s clear now that the aged veteran may be past his prime. He’ll be 36 later this month and it may be difficult for him to find a job for next season, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if he draws a lot of interest during free agency.

Napoli was brought to Arlington for the first position. He also served as the team’s designated hitter. Joey Gallo started 52 games at first base this season, so with Napoli not coming back, the door for Gallo to compete for the first base position next season may have opened. Minor league player Ronald Guzman may compete with Gallo next Spring Training for the first base spot.

It’s very sad to see how 2017 went for Napoli. In 2016, while playing for the Cleveland Indians, Napoli set career-highs and went on to play in his third World Series. This season, it was basically the opposite, though he did manage to blast 29 home runs. He did what he could for the club and did his best, however, it wasn’t enough to satisfy the organization.