Mike Napoli

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli traded to Rangers

Rob Bradford
August 07, 2015 - 3:32 pm
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As was first reported by WEEI.com, Mike Napoli, one of the heroes of the Red Sox 2013 World Series championship, has been traded to the Rangers. A source said Napoli agreed to waive his no-trade clause, which included Texas and Seattle, to facilitate the deal. The Red Sox receive either a player to be named later or cash considerations in the deal. The Rangers will pay approximately $1.5 million of the $5 million left on Napoli's deal this year. "Once Nap cleared trade waivers, we reached back out to a handful of teams that we had been in touch with prior to the deadline and that all happened within the last 48 hours or so and just happened that Texas ended up being a team that seemed like the best fit and an opportunity for him to go back to a place he'€™s familiar with and play in a role that should fit him. And play for a team that'€™s made a nice run and has a chance to do something down the stretch," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington Friday night. "Happy for Nap and obviously want to thank him for what he did for the Red Sox particularly in 2013, a huge part of our success that year and made a real impact and became a real good player on the field for us and obviously a popular player and part of that team'€™s success. So we appreciate what he did us and wish him well." The 33-year-old has struggled for much of the season, batting .207 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs. His defense has also taken a step back at first base. He has posted an .896 OPS since the All-Star break, however, and he brings a winning pedigree to a Rangers club that has finally found its stride to work its way back into the wild card race. With a 4-3 victory over the Astros on Wednesday, the Rangers completed a sweep and moved a game over .500 for the first time since July 3. They began play on Friday just 2 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot. In Napoli, they reacquire a player who had two of his best seasons in Texas, where he hit a career-high .320 in 2011 before making his only All-Star team in 2012. His most obvious path to playing time in Texas would be as the right-handed half of a first base platoon with slugger Mitch Moreland. While it may have been time for Napoli to go, that doesn't change what he meant to the Red Sox in 2013. An originator of the beards that took the region by storm, Napoli hit .259 with 23 homers and a career-high 92 RBIs. He also blasted two of the most pivotal homers of the postseason -- a solo shot off Justin Verlander accounted for the only run in Game 3 of the ALCS, as well as bomb to dead center off of Anibal Sanchez that started the Red Sox on their way to a 4-3 victory in Game 5. After the Red Sox won it all, a jubilant Napoli was photographed roaming the streets of Boston shirtless in one of the enduring images of the celebration. Cherington noted that the absence of Napoli will free up playing time for rookie Travis Shaw, although the GM suggested that neither Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval would likely see time at first base. He also introduced the possibility of another chance at the major league level for Allen Craig.

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