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Source: Napoli nearing 2-year deal with former club

Now that the Edwin Encarnacion dream has become a reality, Mike Napoli will likely bid farewell to the Cleveland Indians organization after a breakout one-year tenure. The IBI's John Alfes details the latest report on one of the hottest names on the free agent market...

For every key addition to a team's roster, there is an unfortunate subtraction.

For the Cleveland Indians, the acquisition of 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion has likely spelled the end for free agent 1B Mike Napoli.

Napoli is reportedly nearing a 2-year deal with the Texas Rangers according to Major League sources and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The 35-year-old veteran played for Ron Washington and the Rangers from 2011-2012 and batted .277 with 59 home runs and 141 RBIs.

Most notably, Napoli anchored the middle portion of the Rangers lineup in the 2011 postseason by notching a .328 batting average with three imperative home runs, one of which came in Game 4 of the World Series opposite the St. Louis Cardinals.

Despite leading 3-2 in the 2011 WS, Napoli was unable to bring a championship to the Lone Star State.

This potential hot stove news could come to fruition in the next few days and change all of that.

Fresh off a career year with the Indians highlighted by his 34 home runs and 101 RBIs, Napoli is best suited to provide balance to a Rangers lineup that lost a triad of talented bats including Mitch Moreland (Red Sox), Carlos Beltran (Astros) and Ian Desmond (Rockies).

Even with this bevy of off-season departures, Carlos Gomez, Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy are all slated to return for manager Brian Bannister in 2017.

As for the Tribe, Encarnacion will fill the void left by Napoli and position himself amidst Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez in next season's lineup.

Although a formal agreement has yet to be reached, it appears Napoli could certainly be on his way to a 2017 reunion with the hitter's paradise known as Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.


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