The Cleveland Indians have signed first baseman Mike Napoli to a one-year deal, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
Sources; Mike Napoli in agreement with #Indians on one-year contract, pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 16, 2015
In addition, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Napoli's deal is for $7 million, which can go higher with incentives:
Napoli gets $7M plus $3M incentives on Indians deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 16, 2015
Napoli hit .224/.324/.410 with 18 home runs in 133 games with the Red Sox and Rangers last season, but those numbers improved to .295/.396/.513 with five home runs in 78 at bats after joining Texas in August. His .734 OPS in 2015 was the lowest of his career, but his .908 OPS with Texas was more in line with his career numbers.
Rosenthal reports that Napoli is expected to be Cleveland's everyday first baseman, with Carlos Santana, who started 132 games for the Indians at first base last season, moving into a designated hitter role. Napoli could also play some left field, where he started 11 games with Texas in 2015.
Signing with Cleveland reunites Napoli with Ty Van Burkleo, who coached him early in his career with the Angels and who is now the Indians' hitting coach.
Bringing in Napoli is similar to the move Cleveland made a year ago when they brought in Brandon Moss to play right field and first base. Moss hit .217/.288/.407 with 15 home runs in 94 games with the Indians before being traded to St. Louis at the trade deadline in a deal that netted the Indians pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky.
The addition of Napoli looks to be a low-risk move for Cleveland because, like Moss, they can flip him for a prospect in July if things do not work out.