Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Indians have signed Mike Napoli to a minor league deal.
Napoli hit .193/.285/.428 in 485 plate appearances last year but somehow managed to hit 29 home runs. It’s not necessarily the case that time has caught up with him, though, as he suffered a slew of injuries last year including a lower back strain, a stress reaction in his right leg and a torn ligament in his right hand, which was not diagnosed until after the season, after which he had surgery. Which, sure, I suppose his suffering multiple injuries could mean time is catching up with him, but we don’t yet know for sure if his bat is toast.
It’s not clear where the 36-year-old would fit in the Indians’ roster plans — they have Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH — but depth is depth and injuries happen.
Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.
Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.
Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.