Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Texas Rangers will have a new starting catcher in 2013, as Mike Napoli signed a three-year, $39 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The writing appeared to be on the wall a month ago, but it's official: Mike Napoli will not be with the Texas Rangers in 2013, as Napoli and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a three-year, $39 million dollar contract.
Napoli spent the last two seasons with the Rangers, serving as the team's primary catcher. Napoli enjoyed two successful campaigns with the Rangers, hitting an obscene .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs in 113 games in 2011, before coming down to earth in 2012, when Napoli hit .227/.343/.469 with 24 home runs in 108 games.
Had the Rangers won the 2011 World Series, there's little doubt that Napoli would have been named the organization's first-ever World Series MVP. Napoli hit Cardinals pitching to the tune of .350/.464/.700 in the seven-game series, belting two homers and driving in 10.
Though Napoli had a huge drop in production between 2011 and 2012, make no mistake: Napoli was one of Texas' top bats, and he will be missed in Texas' lineup.
Per Richard Durrett, Napoli has fared very well in Fenway Park, hitting .306/.397/.710 with seven home runs in 19 games as a visitor. Small sample size or not, Napoli has enjoyed success in Boston, and will likely continue to do so for the majority of his new contract.
Since the Rangers failed to make Napoli a qualifying offer, Texas will not receive draft pick compensation from Boston.
For the Red Sox, the move makes plenty of sense, as the club can use Napoli primarily at first base with a glut of catchers. Both the money and years of the contract make sense for the Red Sox, and there's every reason to think that this deal will be a very good one for Ben Cherington and the Sox.