There is a “strong possibility” that the Rangers sign free-agent first baseman Mike Napoli, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. A deal does not appear imminent, though Texas has emerged as a strong favorite.
Texas aggressively pursued Edwin Encarnacion before he signed with the Indians, and immediately turned its attention to Napoli, who spent last season with Cleveland. Napoli has had two stints with the Rangers in the past, spending two seasons with the club in 2011 and 2012 before appearing in 35 games in 2015 after a waiver-wire trade with the Red Sox.
Napoli, 35, hit .239/.335/.465 with 34 homers and 101 RBI in 150 games for the Tribe last year, serving as a clubhouse leader for a team that reached the World Series. He is expected to command a 1- or 2-year deal with a high annual average value, and has drawn interest from clubs like the Red Sox, Astros, Mariners and Yankees so far this winter.
Napoli would be the third significant signing of the winter for Texas, as the team already added Andrew Cashner and re-signed Carlos Gomez on 1-year contracts.