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February 29, 2012

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli expects to test free agency

Mike Napoli saw the St. Louis Cardinals signed catcher Yadier Molina to a five-year deal worth a reported $75 million, but didn’t read too much into the numbers. He doesn’t know what his value will be when he becomes a free agent after this season.

Napoli had discussions with the Texas Rangers this winter about a long-term deal, but those talks stalled. Instead, Napoli and the Rangers reached a one-year, $9.4 million in his final year of arbitration.

Napoli said talks of a deal have been “squashed,” and he’s focused on the season rather than free agency.

“I’d love to be here, but I’ll test the market,” Napoli said. “Every player plays to get to free agency. But it’s not something I’m going to worry about. That’s why I have my agent.”

Napoli is coming off his best season in the big leagues, hitting .320 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs. He started 60 games at catcher, 31 at first base and 19 at designated hitter.

-- Drew Davison


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