Free agent slugger Mike Napoli will have a new home in 2016, signing with the Cleveland Indians for $7 million, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal also includes $3 million in incentives, reports Jon Heyman.
Napoli hit .224/.324/.410 with 18 home runs in 133 games in 2015, splitting time between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. He was traded to Texas on Aug. 7, and down the stretch hit .295/.396/.513 with five home runs in 35 games for the American League West champion. His early-season run with the Red Sox dragged his overall line down, but he batted .245/.347/.457 from May 22 onward, so he might have something left for Cleveland.
The 34-year-old right-handed slugger has averaged 22 home runs, 118 games and 55 walks per season in the last eight years, hitting .256/.355/.487, a 125 OPS+ from 2008-15.
Napoli was ranked as the 27th-best free agent on the market this offseason by our own Grant Brisbee.
The former catcher hasn't donned the tools of ignorance since 2012, playing first base and designated hitter almost exclusively the past three seasons, though he did start 11 games in left field for the Rangers in 2015. He was one of the finalists for the American League Gold Glove at first base in 2015, but was not selected for the award.
He made $16 million in 2015 in the final season of a two-year, $32 million contract signed with Boston after the 2013 season.