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The Rangers are still in pursuit of Mike Napoli

Saturday’s Say Hey, Baseball takes a look at a potential reunion between the Rangers and Mike Napoli and the top two farm systems in baseball (according to Keith Law).

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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On Friday afternoon, the Rangers added James Loney to their fold on a minor league deal in an effort to shore up their depth at first base. Naturally, that led to Rangers fans wondering whether or not they’d be done adding to their squad with this move. According to Rangers beat writer TR Sullivan, Texas isn’t done. As a matter of fact, the Rangers are still in on one slugger in particular — Mike Napoli.

Again, this isn’t really a new link when it comes to the Rangers and Napoli. There were rumors back in late December that the Rangers were "aggressively" pursuing the 35-year-old slugger, and it even got to the point where Sullivan was reporting on the Rangers’ website that the two parties were nearing a two-year deal, to be specific. For some reason, the deal didn’t get done then, but as we enter the late stages of January, it sure seems like Napoli and the Rangers are still interested in a potential reunion.

Mike Napoli is coming off a decent 2017 season that saw him help power Cleveland to an AL Pennant victory and a berth in the World Series. He hit .239/.335/.465 with 113 wRC+ and 34 homers for Cleveland last year, so you’d have to imagine that the Rangers would definitely prefer having a slugger of that caliber at first base for them next year instead of having to choose from their current selection. The Rangers have been on Napoli for a while now, so maybe we’ll see this particular saga come to a positive end for both player and team.

  • Keith Law has released his annual rankings of baseball’s farm systems, and for the second year in a row, the Braves are on top.

  • The team that Law ranked No. 2? The New York Yankees. They’ve sure come a long way.

  • Jeff Bagwell’s going into the Hall of Fame, and Astros fans who grew up watching him play aren’t shocked at all.

  • Meanwhile, FanGraphs is already starting to make the case for a player who will be entering next year’s ballot for the first time — Andruw Jones.

  • On another note, the crew at Viva El Birdos is already trying to figure out where Yadier Molina stacks up among catchers who are already in Cooperstown.

  • The Orioles have signed Mark Trumbo, so now it’s time to figure out what their lineup will look like in 2017.

  • Speaking of Trumbo, both he and Jose Bautista received relatively cheap contracts this year despite putting up big power numbers. What’s up with that?

  • Israel wants Jason Kipnis to play for its team at the World Baseball Classic, and now it's trying to recruit him.

  • Joba Chamberlain’s back in the news, as he’s signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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