Nearly a week after the Cleveland Indians brought in Edwin Encarnacion, the market for fellow power-hitter Mike Napoli has "intensified," according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. TR Sullivan of MLB.com has reported that the two sides have discussed a two-year contract.
Napoli has been a solid producer as he's gotten older both on the field and off. His veteran leadership and strong stroke has helped three teams — Rangers, Red Sox and Indians — since 2011 reach the World Series and one team win it. The Rangers have emerged as the top suitor, as the team has gotten "more aggressive" in discussions for Napoli, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
The reasons are obvious, as the need for power has been brought on by the departure of Mitch Moreland. It also helps that Napoli has played his fair share of games in Arlington.
Some added bonuses for Texas would be the ability to keep their first round pick and the flexibility to dangle Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar to help strengthen their rotation.
Based on the market, we could still see a team like the Oakland A's make a run at Napoli, as they were a finalist on Encarnacion. The Baltimore Orioles — who are looking to find a cheaper alternative to Mark Trumbo — and the Toronto Blue Jays — who have lost Encarnacion and seem likely to lose Bautista and Saunders — could also be interested in him.
Napoli is reportedly looking for a two-year deal now. It seems likely that he should be able to get about $12-$15 million per season.
Remaining power bats on this market include Pedro Alvarez, Chris Carter, Logan Morrison, Adam Lind and Jose Bautista.null