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Mike Napoli, How Much Better Are The Rangers?

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Just when you thought it was safe to tune out the offseason ...

I have for you a collection of reactions to the Mike Napoli trade, and then a poll for you to let us know if you like it or not.

Jonah Keri of FanGraphs has a particularly detailed take on the deal, which he calls a win-win. His summary:

Napoli is a more valuable player on an absolute win basis, as any productive hitter would be vs. any relief pitcher, even a really good one. But there’s a good chance that a near-elite reliever like Francisco could fetch more in a deadline trade than a defensively-challenged two-and-half-true-outcome hitter like Napoli, should the Jays fall out of contention.

Though he thinks, overall, this looks like a net gain for the Rangers, Joey Matschulat of Baseball Time in Arlington does caution what this deal can do to the bullpen:

Granted, this trade doesn't come without its own set of consequences. Losing Francisco, a very capable eighth- and ninth-inning man over the last three seasons, undermines the overall strength/reliability of the bullpen . . . If one of those guys doesn't step up in Francisco's absence, and the resultant impact is several high-profile late-inning collapses early in the season, this trade isn't going to look quite so bright and sunny as it does right now.


Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball simply says his "initial reaction, is a good one."

As far as the Angles fans, who have had to deal with the loss of a fan favorite in a questionable trade, only to see said player quickly flipped over to a division rival, the reaction is not pretty. Kalup Alexander of Halo Hangout (probably the best Angels blog I've ever found if you're looking for one, by the way) wonders:

Given the speed of the follow up deal , the immediate question begs, what in the world did the Angels do to piss off Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos? Shipping Napoli out just two business days after he was acquired would lead me to speculate that this deal was already in the works during the Wells negotiations and that Anthopoulos knew his intent (to flip Napoli to Texas) the whole time.

Meanwhile, SBNation's own Rev Halofan of Halo's Heaven is also pretty upset:

What was last week's worst trade of the century has morphed into a karmic comeuppance of a General Manager who is in over his head, a begrudged billionaire fighting obvious and inevitable market forces and a manager who believes in fairytale RISP and CERA stats over simple things like hitting the darn baseball.

I'll add more to this space if I find them over the course of the day. For now, vote in the poll!

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.