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Mike Napoli’s deal with the Rangers: one year, $8.5 million with a 2018 option

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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.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.