Rangers to meet with free agent Mike Napoli this week

Posted Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The Texas Rangers will meet with free agent Mike Napoli this week in the Metroplex as they attempt to re-sign one of their primary catchers from the past two seasons.

A source confirmed that Napoli and his agent, Brian Grieper, will meet with Rangers officials. Napoli visited Boston over the weekend, and is also drawing interest from Seattle.

The Rangers and Napoli have had a steady dialogue since free agency opened in late October, the source said.

Catching is a priority for the Rangers this off-season. They have Geovany Soto on the roster, but he is a candidate to not be tendered a contract later this week.

The Rangers' best catching prospects are at the lower levels of the minor leagues, so free agency is their best route to fortify the position for at least the next two seasons.

Napoli is seeking a four-year contract. The Rangers chose not to make him a one-year qualifying offer at $13.3 million earlier this month because, general manager Jon Daniels said, they didn't like that price tag.

An All-Star starter in July, Napoli turned down a three-year, $38 million extension from the Rangers last off-season. He was coming off a career year in which he hit .320 with 30 homers, but he struggled to a .227 average with six fewer homers in 2012.

One aspect that might make the Rangers more attractive to Napoli is that they would use him at catcher more than Boston or Seattle.

The Red Sox have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the former Rangers catching prospect, behind the plate and have a need at first base. Napoli, though, is a career .306 hitter at Fenway Park.

The Mariners have Jesus Montero at catcher, and used their first-round pick in June on an advanced college catcher, Mike Zunino. First baseman Justin Smoak, a former Rangers first-round pick, isn't a lock going forward after two subpar seasons.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
Indiana «88Final | Box
Charlotte79
Philadelphia103Final | Box
Detroit «109
Dallas85Final | Box
New Orleans «88
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders «3Final | Box
Boston2
Pittsburgh3Final(OT) | Box
Detroit «4
Vancouver «4Final | Box
St. Louis1
Chicago2Final | Box
Nashville «3
Arizona0Final | Box
Minnesota «2
Carolina0Final | Box
Calgary «5
Buffalo0Final | Box
Los Angeles «2
Columbus «5Final | Box
San Jose4
Full Scoreboard