On Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that an agreement was in place between the Texas Rangers and Mike Napoli. Today the terms of the deal are known: one year, $8.5 million with a club option for 2018.
Not a bad deal for a guy who hit 34 home runs and knocked in 101 runs in 150 games for the AL pennant winners last year. He played more first base than DH last season, appearing in 98 games in the field. What that breakdown will look like in Texas is unclear and depends a lot on the club’s plans for prospect Joey Gallo.
Napoli previously played for the Rangers in 2011-12, and for part of 2015. This will be his third tour of duty in Texas.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.