Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers Talking Contract Extension

According to ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett, the Texas Rangers are talking with catcher/designated hitter Mike Napoli on a possible long-term contract extension. FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi believes there's a very good chance the two sides reach an agreement by Opening Day.

The Rangers front office is making a conscious effort to lock up their core players; and, thanks to an amazing 2011 campaign, Napoli has joined that group for the Rangers. Along with Napoli's representatives, the Rangers have also discussed long-term deals with the agents of starting pitcher Derek Holland, second baseman Ian Kinsler and center fielder Josh Hamilton this offseason.

If the Rangers fail to lock up Napoli this offseason, they'll still have him under team control for one more season. The 30-year-old is arbitration eligible for one last time this offseason, and is set to hit the open market following the 2012 season. After a sensational 2011 in which he hit .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs, Napoli will undoubtedly get a raise from the $5.8 million he earned last season.

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