Mike Napoli as a Texas Ranger in 2017 has been reported for a while, but there's been no official signing yet. Before officially announcing the deal, the Rangers had to wait until after they were able to place Prince Fielder and Jake Diekman on the 60-day disabled list.
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The Rangers re-introduced Napoli on Thursday morning. The first baseman/designated hitter signed an $8.5 million one-year deal. That comes in the form of a $6 million salary for 2017 and a club option in 2018, according to FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal.
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The slugger will be making his third stint with the Rangers, who acquired him before the 2011 season and again in 2015. He went to the World Series with Texas in 2011, was part of a championship in Boston in 2013 and went with Cleveland a year ago in his only season there. As his free agency dragged on, it was clear Napoli was being pulled back to Texas, and the feeling was mutual.
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Napoli fills the void at first base left by Mitch Moreland, who left in December for Boston. Last season, Napoli batted.239/.335/.465 for the Cleveland Indians, running out of gas down the stretch. With Cleveland previous year, Napoli set new career highs with 34 home runs, and 101 RBI.