What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
For those who think Mike Napoli is a one-season wonder, consider these stats:
From 2008-2011 (4 years), Mike Napoli is 13th in all of MLB in wRC+ at 137. That's better than any current Ranger, including Josh Hamilton. Throw out the retired Manny Ramirez, and he moves up to 12th.
Here are the active players with a higher wRC+ than Mike Napoli since 2008:
Over that 4-year period, Joe Mauer has been 1 point of wRC+, and 2 points of wOBA better than Nappy. Napoli's OPS is 3 points better than Mauer.
Mike Napoli's 2011 wRC+ was 178. Josh Hamilton's 2010 MVP wRC+ was 178. In 2010, Josh's BABIP was .390 (versus .341 since becoming a Ranger 4 years ago, a difference of 49 points). In 2011, Nappy's BABIP was .344, compared to .310 since 2008, for a difference of 34 points. So Napoli's 2011 shows less luck than Josh's 2010.
Since 2008, Napoli is 3rd in WAR amongst ML Catchers, behind Mauer and McCann, despite not having ever been allowed to hold down the full-time Catcher's job anywhere, ever. Here are the wRC+ numbers for Catchers since 2008:
Mauer 138Napoli 137McCann 125VMart 120 (out for year, basically a DH now)Posada 111 (retired)Ryan Doumit, Miguel Montero, Chris Iannetta, Geovany Soto all at 108
He finished 12th out of over 140 qualifying Catchers in 2011 in Beyond the Boxscore's Catcher defense rankings.
Get the man signed. $15m/yr is not too much, if that's what it takes.
Get ur done!
It's easy to say that they shouldn't throw something like $75m over 5 yrs at Napoli based on 3 months of hall-of-fame baseball after a few years of decent-to-good stuff. But something happened to him when he came off the DL just before the all-star break. Look at his numbers through June compared to July and after. The change is so drastic it probably made some people think he was on stuff.
I haven't heard an explanation for that performance change. Maybe if I did I'd have a better idea about whether that production is sustainable or not. My inclination, though, is that, unless he regresses to below where he was before July, such a contract will be less of a regret in years to come than the contract to which they would have signed Prince.
I'm with you, Scooby. They didn't throw money at Prince. They can probably afford to throw a bit at Napoli, especially if they backload it (which they almost certainly would).
Also, does anybody know to what we can attribute that drastic performance increase? Anyone catch an interview with him regarding that?
Well, first, While his July/August/September looked a lot like Josh's 2010 June/July August (2 huge months and a third very, very big month, all supported by a high BABIP), by the end of April last year he had a wRC+ of 198 with an OPS of 1.164 despit a BABIP of just .194. He then hit a slump and had a poor May, before going on the DL in early June and eating up the league from July on.
But he's also showed flashes of it at other times in his career. In 2008, in August he posted a wRC+ of 169, and in September '08, it was wRC+ of 258 over 53 ABs with a BABIP of .514. In 2009, he posted 2 months of 157 wRC+, including one with a BABIP of just .281, and in May 2010 he posted a 196 wRC+ over 87 ABs.
Maybe, he's just really, really, really good at hitting baseballs. And on top of that, maybe he's a little streaky. And when he gets hot, that's just how good he is.
And maybe, because Soscia didn't trust his defense, he failed to ride Nappy when he had the "hot hand". The second half of last year was one of the first times in his career that Napoli has gotten consistent, regular playing time. He has 9 months over the last 4 seasons that are better than Josh Hamilton's 4th best month over the last 4 seasons. Maybe it's as simple as Mike Napoli = Friggin Stud.
Pay the man.
One thing is for sure post PF and AP signings. We will be overpaying for whichever one of the following that we sign: JH, MN, NC or IK. You can count on it. JD just has to figure out which ones will get over paid. They are all 29-31 and key to this team.
Disagree. Napoli has asked for 5/$75m. I don't think that's an overpay at all (as I've been trying to explain in this thread).
I love MN, but most would consider that an overpay. He is already 30 and the contract would be for years 31-35. Since the all-star break last year nobody in baseball was better. If he keeps this up you will be right, if not, he would still be a value for a couple of years, 5/75 hmmmm.....
Well, if that's true (and I don't think it is), then most are wrong.
If he were to come out and repeat his 2011 2nd half for a full year in 2012, then he's worth (and would get on the FA market) something like 6/$150m. I'm not kidding at all about that. If his "true talent" was his 2nd half 2011, then he's the very best player in baseball. Nobody believes that, including Napoli and his agent, as evidenced by the fact that they're not asking for anything remotely close to that.
Also, the 5/$75m contract Napoli wants buys out his 2011 arb year, so it's actually ages 30-34.
Also, if they asked for 5/$75m, you can certainly negotiate it down somewhat from that. 5/$67.5m? 4/$60m? Saying "yes" to that should be an easy answer.
Can't force a player to sign, if they are interested in checking out FA.
Give the man a top hat a monocle!
@scooby: I agree
Agree 100%. Based purely on his numbers from the rest of his career, he's shown he's worth the money, and that's not even counting the insane run after the ASB through the post season. Played only a bit more than 2/3rds of the season, he was worth 5.6 WAR. Get him 150 starts - even if he doesn't stay in berserk ball destroying mode the entire time - and that number is going to stay the same or increase.
15mil a year for a 5.6WAR (or more, if he gets on a good hot streak again) player? I'd take it in a second.
Well, I'm going to play devil's advocate. Under no circumstances would I agree with paying a offense-first catcher $15 million per year through age 34-35. I would imagine Minnesota is regretting the monster contract to Mauer unless there are plans to move him to 1B full time very soon. Very few full-time catchers remain productive into their mid-30's, and at that price, if he's a catcher, he damn well better be a full-time catcher. The 5.5 WAR he posted last year was excellent no doubt, but his career average is only 2.7 (with last year's 5.5 included). I think it's crazy to expect him to post 2011 numbers again. What should be expected is for him to return to his normal numbers. His normal numbers aren't bad at all, but they aren't worthy of a $15 million contract. I understand that he's a great offensive catcher, but I'll argue that his defensive skills are less than the majority of full-time catchers in all of MLB. His defensive WAR is very low for his career (-0.6 actually), and last year's 0.6 seems to be an aberration compared to his previous 5 years. His 3.18 Catcher's ERA was 3rd behind C. Ruiz and C. Stewart among those who caught 60 or more games, but for his career the cERA is well over 4. His percentage of CS is also pretty low compared to full-time catchers, around 24%. (What this shows is that anyone can pick and choose stats to make an argument)
Now, if Napoli is the long-term answer at 1B, then I'm on board. Sign him now, split time at C and 1B in 2012, then put him in as the full time 1B in 2013 and try and sign Y. Molina or Miguel Montero. Both are exellent defensive catchers. Molina is dependable offensively, and Montero will have a chance to prove in 2012 if his offensive performance last year was a fluke. Montero will be much cheaper, and Molina will be wanting a contract that takes him into his mid-30's.
As for Napoli's drastic performance increase last year...well, let's just say I'm awfully skeptical of what to attribute it to. PED's are not completely gone from the game.
If as Scooby Dud says--Napoli is a 'friggin stud'-then by God let's do it. Seriously-you need all the 'friggin studs' you can amass in today's game. Just to be able to say we have a 'friggin stud' on our team is enough for me. Btw-what is friggin?
It's usually a euphemism for "fuckin'".
And Napoli has said he wants to stay here. I think we should keep him. If we were willing to invest, I'm guessing, roughly twice as much on Prince, who probably would have started tanking at least a little a few years into the deal, I think we could do the same for Napoli. Even with expected regression, he's still an offensive threat, and he proved also that his defense is much, much better than we were led to believe based on Scioscia's ostensibly relegating him to backup behind sub-Mendoza Mathis.
There is, at this point, little reason to believe he's not worth giving $12-15m AAV for 4 or 5 years. If he's a bust on such a contract, well...it'll still be less of a bust than if Yu or Beltre suddenly collapsed and rendered the rest of their deal wasted...or possibly Prince, if we had signed him...there would have been a good chance that the last couple years on the deal were way overpaying.
Napoli hasn't been settled, right? If not, before the arb, I hope they make a good effort to extend him, probably to something in the neighborhood of what we're talking about. They didn't shell out for Prince. We have some great players that need extensions, to say nothing of considering whether guys like Hamilton should come back. I hope they get at least Napoli done, and hopefully Kinsler too.
I got kicked off here once for saying less than 'fuckin'.
He can repeat 5.5 WAR without hitting as well as he did last year. Last year he only caught 50-something games and got just 113 total games and 432 PAs. Make it 90 games caught, 135 games, and 575 PAs, and he's a 5.5 WAR player just hitting at his career averages. Give him 90 games caught, 135 games, and 575 PAs, and have him hit the same way he hit last year, and he's close to a 7.5 WAR player.
That's kind of my point. All you need is average offensive Napoli and you get a top-3 Catcher in baseball.
PED seem really unlikely, unless you think he's been on them for a long time.
He hit 26 HR last year, and 20 the year before. His SLG in 08 was .586, and in 2011 it was .631 - not that large of a jump. He 2/3rds as many home runs in less than 2/3rds as many at bats, playing at home in a park less pitcher friendly.
The biggest improvements Napoli made, offensively, seem to have more to do with contact than they do with power. He did not hit more doubles or triples than previous season. He hit a few more home runs. He hit some more singles. But he just didn't strike out nearly as often. He dropped his K rate by 4-7%
Well done on the offensive numbers, Scoob, but see Cahill's point about not being able to make players sign. Napoli and his agent are both surely well aware how good he is. They're going to want big time money and a lengthy commitment in guaranteed years.
I expect Napoli to regress a bit from last year's numbers, but an increase in games played should offset that and he'll still be a 4-5 WAR player. If I were Napoli I'd ask for something like 5/$90M, which is not an outrageous amount for his projected value going forward. Depending on how much he'd come down from that type of demand I'm not sure I'm comfortable paying that for his age 31-35 seasons.
@Greg: and that's why I don't think it was PEDs. Besides, I'd imagine he's been tested since July. He wasn't hitting harder (or, Barry Bonds-esque jump in HRs), he was just hitting better.
Whatever it was, if he comes even remotely close to keeping with that level of play, $15m AAV will look like a bargain.
I didn't mean that I think he's on PED's, just that now you can never be sure when there's such a dramatic increase in a player's production or performance. I have no idea on how the testing process works, or if every single player gets tested. The fact is some are still getting caught, so PED's are still out there.
Rangers need to be proactive on Napoli and sign him to a long term deal now, while they are in the arbatration process. It will make them money in the long run.
I consider Napoli's increase in performance to be attributable to him be protected in the batting order, runners on base in front of him and power behind him, which gave him better pitches to hit. When he was with the Angels he had no protection and wasn't given anything to hit.
@ t ball:
Local reports have 5/$75m as the number Nappy and his agent actually asked for, rather than go to arb this year. If that's his wildest-dreams opening offer in negotiations, there is no reason for this not to get done.
If he asks for 5/$75m, what do you think gets the deal done? Do we meet the asking price?
I could see 5/68 or 5/70 getting it done.
If not, I have no problem at all with the Rangers giving him asking price.
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