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?





Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
San Francisco2Final | Box
Kansas City «7Ballpark Replay
110th World Series, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Houston «90Final | Box
Orlando89
Brooklyn86Final | Box
Boston «100
Washington100Final | Box
New York «103
Cleveland92Final | Box
Memphis «96
Minnesota «110Final | Box
Milwaukee91
Atlanta «117Final | Box
San Antonio107
Portland86Final | Box
LA Lakers «94
Phoenix105Final | Box
LA Clippers «108
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
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
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Ottawa0
Philadelphia «5Final | Box
Pittsburgh3
Washington2Final | Box
Edmonton «3
Buffalo1Final | Box
Anaheim «4
Full Scoreboard