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11/02/2012

Texas Rangers should expect the 2012 Mike Napoli, not the '11 version

Josh-hamilton-drunk-relapse-20090715_zaf_i88_017From the Things I Was Not Expecting File, Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said today on a conference call with reporters the team has made an offer to free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton but none of other of the club's free agents, including catcher Mike Napoli.

Daniels said this offer allows them to continue to talk to him, but the plan is still let Hamilton to test the market.

Now that months have passed since the season ended, and cooler heads are prevailing, it still sounds like Josh is gone. The team will not go stupid on a Hamilton contract.

I asked him if they have a 2013 plan that does include Josh, and one that does not.

"We have a whole bunch of scnearios drawn up. There are a couple of areas - mainly catching and the bullpen - as areas we have to address," Daniels said. "Josh is a big variable for us this winter because how big of a part he's played on the club but also where he fits in the contractual spectrum because he's going to get a lot of money."

So will Napoli, even if his history says it's an enormous risk for a totally different reason. To plan on him ever having the type of year he had in 2011 is a major gamble. But some team/GM will do it.

Mike+Napoli+Oakland+Athletics+v+Texas+Rangers+ChciwZ4N3oXlDaniels said Napoli is a player the team wants back, but that he "fell somewhere in the middle."

Napoli is going to want X, and 

If the Rangers are going to re-sign Napoli they need to do so expecting he will be closer to the 2012 player than the 2011 player. Here are his major career statistics for the 31-year-old catcher.

'06 Angels - .228, 16 HR, 42 RBI
'07 Angels - .247, 10 HR, 34 RBI
'08 Angels - .273, 20 HR, 49 RBI
'09 Angels - .272, 20 HR, 56 RBI
'10 Angels - .238, 26 HR, 68 RBI
'11 Rangers - .320, 30 HR, 75 RBI
'12 Rangers - .227, 24 HR, 56 RBI

Solid numbers for a catcher, but as you can see in six of his seven major league seasons the type of production he enjoyed in 2011 looks to be a one-time thing.

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