Here, let me save you the trouble of reading this.
First, Napoli is making $3.6 million. That's a reasonable price to pay for a guy who hits 26 home runs...But Napoli will be in his second season of arbitration this winter, meaning he'll probably get a sizeable bump, probably doubling his salary.
First, Napoli will be in his third season of arbitration (he was a Super Two and so he gets four arbitration years). I'd also like to point out that the Angels have been paying EIGHTEEN MILLION dollars a year to a guy with home run totals of 21, 22, and 21 (with 9 games to play) in the last three seasons-- and that's with 44% more plate appearances than Mike Napoli. Oh, and that squiggly red line under the word "sizeable"? That's your spellchecker telling you you misspelled it.
It would be one thing if Napoli were a good enough catcher to play that position every day, but he's got an unreliable arm and he's too bulky to block the plate well.
Yes, Napoli is a terrible, terrible defensive catcher. This was just a funny claim I've never heard before. He's too big to block the plate! It's like saying, that door is too tall for me to walk through.
Continued after the jump.
Look deeper into Napoli's numbers and you realize a lot of what he does is flash without substance...His RBI total -- 67 -- is paltry given all those home runs.
Flash without substance is, like, a guy who hits .189 even though everyone thinks he looks great in a uniform. Look, Napoli's most common spot in the lineup coming into 2010 was eighth. The guys hitting in front of him do not get on base. The guys hitting behind him do not get on base. If I'm smarter than Mark Saxon, who am I going to pitch around? Well, Napoli has walked over 12% of the time with runners in scoring position this year, compared to just 6% of the time with the bases clean. Besides, a .250 hitter going 19-for-105 w/RISP is just not improbable enough to be statistically significant, even isolated from other factors.
In other words, Napoli is a "tweener," too inconsistent strictly as a hitter, not reliable enough as a catcher.
No one really knows what "consistency" actually means, but I'll bite anyways. Sure, Mike Napoli is not the greatest hitter ever. He's also a bad defensive catcher. But you see, the average catcher slugs .382. Mike Napoli slugs .491. He is better at slugging than every other catcher in baseball this year. He's also one of the best hitters the Angels have on the roster. This more than makes up for poor defense. Ten minus five is still greater than zero, and even zero is greater than Jeff Mathis.
My opinion [that Napoli will be traded] didn't change when Napoli hit the home run off the Texas Rangers C.J. Wilson that tied Wednesday's game 1-1 in the seventh inning.
Really? Because I watched this game too (albeit not from a complimentary press box), and I thought just the opposite. That "mere" solo home run improved the team's win probability from 37% to 59%. It was the Angels' only run of the night. I also seem to remember the Rangers' winning run coming across in the 11th on a passed ball by the Angels' resident defensive catching genius (who is at least not so bulky that he can't block the plate). Would you like more substance with that flash?
Okay, so trading Mike Napoli might not be the worst idea in the world. I can imagine scenarios in which it could work out. None of the above are the reasons to do it, though. The fact that people are thinking about it this way gives me no confidence that the Angels will get a fair return on Napoli. You're nuts if you're dreaming of Jacoby Ellsbury or something. Probably not as nuts as Mark Saxon, though.