The official statement of catcher Mike Napoli’s one year agreement with the Texas Rangers to prevent settlement might also signal the end of the club’s shopping for big-ticket items on the free-agent marketplace. Baseball scores
GM Jon Daniels said that “more than likely” the Rangers are finished with their offseason work, besides maybe a nonroster player or two, as they gear up to start spring training later this month. He announced the franchise was “a tick over” its payroll finances after adding Napoli’s deal, which sources recounted was for $9.4 million. Football scores
“As far as any adaptability we have, we do not right now,” Daniels announced. “I in no way want to shut the door and there are always methods to be imaginative and things of that nature. We can sign nonroster players. But handicapping anything more as we sit here, there’s nothing about to happen.”
Daniels was asked about a couple of free agents the club has had attraction in this offseason, starter Roy Oswalt and left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez.
“Nothing has changed on either front,” Daniels claimed. “There’s a level of interest in the players, but as far as a fit on the team and payroll-wise, it’s not as straightforward as otherwise.”
Daniels said that he was pleased the 2-time American League champions could get an agreement done with Napoli, who settled on $500,000 below the middle ground after the parts exchanged salary settlement figures in January. Napoli asked for $11.5 million and the club offered $8.3 million.
Daniels was satisfied the club was heading for Florida for Napoli’s arbitration hearing, which was planned for Wednesday.
“At the end of day, our target is not to stroll into a hearing if we can stay clear of it,” Daniels claimed. “Both parts agreed, we received a deal done, and we are happy about it.”
The Texas Rangers remain enthusiastic about getting a longer-term contract done with Napoli, who will be an independent agent at the end of the 2012 season.
Napoli’s agreement represents a $3.6 million increase from his 2011 salary ($5.8 million). He earned it after putting up a career-high .320 average with 30 homers and 75 RBIs in 113 games for the Rangers last season.
Napoli earned more playing time as the season advanced, batting .383 with 18 homers and 42 RBIs after the All-Star break. He likely would have been the World Series MVP had the Rangers won after batting .350 with 2 homers and Ten RBIs.
The 30-year-old Napoli is a .264 career hitter with 122 homers and 324 RBIs in 619 games. The Rangers acquired him in Jan 2011 from the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Frank Francisco.
Napoli has related his left ankle, which was hurt as he tried to round 2nd base on an errant throw in Game 6 of the World Series, is feeling better. He’s been able to take part in his offseason exercise programs and has been receiving treatment on the ankle.
Daniels declared Napoli has seen the Texas Rangers’ doctors a couple of times this offseason and they are pleased by the way in which the ankle is advancing, though he’s not likely to be 100 % at the beginning of spring training. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Feb. 22.