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Mike Napoli: “I’ll test the [free agent] market”

Feb 29, 2012, 9:40 PM EDT

napoli getty square Getty Images

The Cardinals’ five-year, $75 million contract with catcher Yadier Molina is already creating quite a ripple effect around the major leagues.

Miguel Montero officially cut off long-term talks on Wednesday afternoon with the D’Backs, and now Mike Napoli has done the same with the Rangers.

Napoli told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram late Wednesday evening that multi-year contract negotiations have been “squashed” and are unlikely to be reopened.

“I’d love to be here, but I’ll test the market,” Napoli said. “Every player plays to get to free agency. But it’s not something I’m going to worry about. That’s why I have my agent.”

The 30-year-old catcher hit .320/.414/.631 with 30 homers and 75 RBI in 113 games last year. He’s not nearly as strong defensively as Molina, but another season of big-time slugging could yield serious dollar signs.

  1. tekdoko - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Really hoping Napoli stays with the Rangers. Now I have to wait before I get my Napoli Jersey lol.

  2. miketreedy - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    I think it would be crazy to spend $15m for 5 years on either Napoli, Montero or Molina.

    • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      With the TV contracts that teams are signing, salaries about to go through another big inflation run.

  3. kingbuccaneer - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Like Drew said, if Napoli bangs like he did last year AND manages their staff to 88+ wins again, he is going to get PAID.

    In Today’s market, how could he not be worth 15 a year with those numbers?

  4. alexo0 - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Actually, I think the market for catchers next winter will be relatively unaffected by Molina’s deal. Molina is a premium defensive catcher who is coming off a career year offensively and with a team that badly needed to keep him, so I think that led to him getting a top-tier deal. While Napoli and Montero are good, I don’t think they will get close to Molina, though I could seem them signing for 8 digits. Now McCann on the other hand, that guy is going to get PAID.

  5. SmackSaw - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    He’ll be in Boston a year from now. He’s a cancer in the clubhouse. He’s only loyal to Mike Napoli.

  6. The Baseball Idiot - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Silly me, I thought they played to win championships.

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