So Mike Napoli, only a few days removed from being traded for Vernon Wells in the deal heard round the world was sent to the the Texas Rangers today in exchange for setup man / closer Frank Fransisco.
Given the speed of the follow up deal , the immediate question begs, what in the world did the Angels do to piss off Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos? Shipping Napoli out just two business days after he was acquired would lead me to speculate that this deal was already in the works during the Wells negotiations and that Anthopoulos knew his intent (to flip Napoli to Texas) the whole time.
You would think after ridding him of the burden of Vernon Wells and his hefty contract “ AA” would have nothing but love for Tony Reagins and the Halos. Trading Napoli to the Angels chief division rival (along with Oakland) is a direct slap in the face. I’m not sure if there are unwritten rules amongst GM’s but if there are you would think something like this would be one of them.
I’d love to be a fly in the room the next time Reagins and Anthopoulos cross paths.
Lets take a look at the on field impact of Napoli going to the Rangers.
Napoli gives the Rangers a power right handed bat they can use at catcher, first base and DH next year. This makes them a better offensive team. However Fransisco was a valuable member of the bull pen and if Neftali Feliz as some expect shifts into the rotation Fransisco’s loss could be Daren Oliver like ( when he left the Halos Angels in 2010) to the Rangers. Furthermore Napoli’s flaws , bad defense, poor hitting with runners in scoring postiion (.215 Career BA with RISP) could also negatively impact the Rangers.
At any rate it will be interesting to see how this deal pans out in the long run for Texas. Will Napoli come back to haunt the Angels like Vlad did last year? Only time will tell.