Have a safe and happy new year, HBT Nation

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The day is turning into evening, and as there appears to be nothing happening baseball-wise at the moment, I’m going to go have a big, big New Year’s Eve: some dinner, some hanging out with the kids and then fighting like hell to stay awake past 10PM (I gave up on the idea of midnight the moment I woke up at 5AM this morning).

Obviously if any baseball stuff happens this evening we’ll let you know, but for now I wanted to thank all of you for a great 2012 and wish you all a happy 2013.

In the extremely likely event you have a more exciting night planned than I do, please be safe.  I’ll be back talking to you tomorrow as if it weren’t a new year and all that exciting stuff.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.