Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli has earned maximum $8 million in incentives


Mike Napoli’s three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox was reworked into a one-year, $5 million deal after concerns about the health status of his hip, but he’s earned back some of that money via incentives.

Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that by being on the active roster for 165 days this season Napoli has earned the maximum $8 million in incentives, making it a one-year, $13 million contract. That’s still a long way from three years and $39 million, but Napoli should be able to snag a one- or two-year deal as a free agent this offseason that will bring the total money relatively close.

It’ll be interesting to see what the market is for Napoli this time around. He’s been healthy, moving away from catcher has allowed him to log a career-high 534 plate appearances, and his .838 OPS almost matches his .858 career mark, although the position switch means his offense is level valuable too. Can he get a two-year, $26 million deal this winter?

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.