Slugging Catcher Claimed Off Waivers
I was alarmed last week when I saw Mike Napoli’s name among the list of players placed on waivers by the Angels. So when he was claimed this weekend by the Red Sox I had even more cause for concern.
While most sources are reporting a deal for Napoli (to the Red Sox or anyone else) this season is unlikely, I still find it alarming that the Angels are even considering parting ways with Naps. The two sides have to strike a deal today (August 30th) or Napoli will likely remain an Angel, at least for the remainder of the season.
Its really baffling that on a team long starved for power, Angels brass is not content with Napoli’s production. Mike Napoli is a lock to hit .250 – .270 with 20 -25 HR and decent OBP and SLG numbers virtually every year. He needs to improve with RISP but he still is among the elite catchers in the game from an offensive standpoint.
There aren’t many catchers currently available that have consistently put up this kind of offensive production. His defense/game calling both leave a lot to be desired, but he more than makes up for it with the bat.
Napoli should be the “mainstay” at catcher and locked up long term. He’s currently under team control through next season and is “reasonably priced’ at 3.6 million dollars. Napoli offers premium power from a historically offensively challenged position (catcher).
In an off season that will have many question marks Napoli provides the Angels with a more than capable proven answer at catcher. That’s a piece the club should build on not remove from the equation.
I say no deal!