Nightengale: Yankees have interest in Mike Napoli

What Went Right: David Robertson
Report: Torii Hunter expects to sign within two weeks

Via Bob Nightengale: The Yankees have interest in free agent catcher, first baseman, and DH Mike Napoli. He’s also been linked to the Red Sox and Mariners this offseason.

Napoli, 31, hit .227/.343/.469 (114 wRC+) with 24 homers this season, and the Rangers didn’t make him a qualifying offer so it won’t cost a draft pick to sign him. I’m not sure what the Yankees would do with him unless they truly think he can catch 100+ games next year, which is something we have no reason to believe. He hasn’t started even 80 games behind the plate since 2009. I get the sense that this might be more about driving up the price for Boston than it is acquiring a good hitter who is an imperfect fit for the roster.

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What Went Right: David Robertson
Report: Torii Hunter expects to sign within two weeks
  • MB923

    Yankees better pass on him

    • jjyank

      Agreed. If they wanna play the “drive it up for other teams”, by all means. But the guy is really just not a catcher. Maybe he can be a BUC and DH, but given the current roster construction, I don’t think the Yankees will have 4-5 DH slots open every week.

      • MB923

        I can’t see them driving up the price for the Red Sox unless they plan to use him as their everyday 1B.

      • http://www.ggcc Robertdavido

        Sign whit the Yankees 100% dear the best team and baseball come on mike Napol You gotta Sign whit the Yankees

        • jjyank

          um, what?

          • Slappy McWaterbug

            That’s what happens when you type with your elbows.

    • http://www.ggcc Robertdavido

      Yankees gotta Sign mike Napoli 100% come Napoli you gotta Sign Fast whit the Yankees thank yous

  • Bob Buttons

    If the Yanks don’t think Montero can catch 100 games they probably wouldn’t think that Napoli can catch 100 games.

  • Greg

    They need a backup fist baseman if Swisher leaves. This is an expensive way to do it.

  • The Real Eddard

    Not a surprise that they have interest in yet another .220 hitter. Jorgie was a career .273 hitter. They obviously haven’t learned anything from their playoff demise the past 2 seasons.

    • Chip

      Jorgie was also a borderline HOF catcher who played right in the middle of the biggest offensive surge in the history of the league

    • Eddard’s neighbor

      Ya but I’ll bet that sumbitch throws a mean parade.

    • MB923

      So they lost in the playoffs because their catcher during the regular season hit .220?

      I don’t want them to get Napoli either, but in the playoffs, he is a career .272 hitter as opposed to Posada who was .248

      Napoli also would have been World Series MVP if Neftali Feliz got the final strike (or Scott Feldman in the 10th)

      • NYCSPORTZFAN

        I’m pretty sure his point is signig a guy that basically had the same line as Russell Martin for more money then Marin would cost is silly.. We obviously don’t need another streak power hitter who K’s alot.. I watched quite a few of his at bats last yr, and he swings at pitches a blind man woulden’t… Seriously, this guy will be hated by yankee fans, i can gurantee it…

    • Ted Nelson

      oaktag

  • Preston

    We can’t re-sign Swisher, but we can get a redundant DH type like Napoli? This seems like a fishy report, maybe Napoli’s agent told Nightengale the Yanks were interested.

    • Reality

      I see you’re new to the rumor game.

    • Ted Nelson

      We don’t really know if the Yankees intend to re-sign Swisher or not.

  • Chip

    If they truly don’t expect to resign Martin, maybe you have some sort of catcher/DH rotation for him. Say 3 games at DH a week, 2 at catcher and 1 on the bench. Could be a decent way to break Romine into the bigs if the Yankees truly believe he can hit enough to survive

  • jason

    Makes sense. Backup catcher, backup first baseman and can dh 100 plus games

  • RetroRob

    I don’t see it, although I suppose if they lose Martin, then they might be looking at patching the catcher position together with a hitter and a defensive pro. Overall, though, sounds like just a rumor.

  • Chase

    Anyone is better than martin

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’d wager a whole lot of starting catchers in the MLB might be worse than Martin. Chill your balls.

      • Slu

        There are probably just as many catchers better than Martin as there are worse than Martin in the league.

        • awesomeo

          I think martin is around #10 in the league imo. His defense is pretty under rated. He gets strikes called on some ugly pitches that aren’t strikes. I also like his attitude (the varitek argument?), either way I think they like him for many of the same reasons.

          • Herby

            He also seems to get a lot of umpires around the league awfully pissed off at him too…as far as getting strikes called, I always thought he was pretty obvious at they way he jerked pitches back into the strike zone.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          As far as full-time starting catchers go, Martin is about average overall.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Where are the guys who wouldn’t shut up about Napoli last spring?

    • awesomeo

      No, hes really not. He is above average. I dont think people get how good posada was and it has skewed perception.

  • Hoss

    This would be great. We could play Napoli at 1B, move Tex back to 3B and sit Alex against righthanded pitchers. Somebody call Passan with the scoop!!!

    • http://www.nesn.com/2011/01/2011-red-sox-will-challenge-1927-yankees-for-title-of-greatest-team-in-major-league-history.html wilk

      i hope this isn’t serious

  • James A

    As with everyone, he could work for the right contract, but I just don’t see him getting less than a multi-year deal. I do think he could work in a C/1B/DH platoon, his oppo power and batting eye would look good, but his inability to play the OF makes him a tricky fit. If Martin is gone, then I’d be behind this at 1 year, $8 million with an option for 2014.

    • http://www.nesn.com/2011/01/2011-red-sox-will-challenge-1927-yankees-for-title-of-greatest-team-in-major-league-history.html wilk

      i think the bigger problem is his inability to play C

  • Brian S.

    Hmmmm. He does have great opposite field power. And he’s an upgrade over Chris Stewart and it’s not like Jeter or Rodriguez will be DHing every day plus with no Swisher we need someone to fill in when Teixeira bruises something by standing in the batters box again. If we can sign him AND Russell Martin I think you just might have to do that.

  • Chuck

    I like Napoli. Maybe they’re thinking catcher 1b and dh scenario.. Texeira was kinda fragile. Or maybe it’s complete bs. I understand driving the price on Crawford but Napoli..

    • Ted Nelson

      Teixeira played less than 156 games in one of the 7 seasons prior to 2012. Odd to call him fragile.

      Why does it matter who you’re driving the price up on? It’s ultimately all impacting their budget.

  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    Step 1: Drive up interest and price on Napoli.
    Step 2: Resign Martin, leaving the Sox holding the bag on Napoli.
    Step 3: Wipe hands on pants.

    • Herby

      In the meantime Red Sox are
      Step 1. Driving up the Price on Martin
      Step 2. Trading away Saltalamacchia
      Step 3. Having nothing to do with Napoli
      Step 4. Wiping the Bobby Valentine stain off

      • RetroRob

        I love how every move the Red Sox make are viewed as brilliant by some Yankee fans, yet they haven’t done anything of note on the field in several years outside of the great collapse.

        • Herby

          did brilliant and Red Sox ever get mentioned together in that post, I don’t think so…but those are all things they are doing…

  • Nick_BD

    I wouldn’t say no to it, if it was mainly DH and back up 1B/C.

  • Ted Nelson

    I don’t think it’s ridiculous to think they’re truly interested. They need a back-up plan to Martin. If Martin gets some huge deal elsewhere they don’t want to match, they still need a C next year. Trades are an option, but Cs aren’t growing on trees. A Napoli/Stewart-Cervelli-Romine-Whiteside solution is an option.

    Also, you need to have at least one and probably two legitimate bats on your bench if you truly want to go with a rotating-DH. You might be able to do that more cost-effectively with an OF, but Napoli has had some legitimately good seasons with the bat.

  • Robert

    This is a smoke screen to put pressure on Martin to sign quickly..

    • Ted Nelson

      It has to have some credibility to put any real pressure on Martin. So, if it’s putting pressure on Martin it has some credibility.

      • Ted Nelson

        To put it another way… if you’re resorting to unrealistic threats, you are more likely to hurt your negotiating position than to help it.

  • mitch

    Even if they do sign napoli, they’d still probably need another catcher. I don’t think you want stewart catching 80+ games. I’d pass.