On Friday, Mike Napoli was dealt to the Texas Rangers along with cash considerations for a player to be named later or cash according to ESPN. Mike Napoli became the latest member of the 2013 World Championship team to be dealt, joining the likes of Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and John Lackey from last year, and Shane Victorino this year.
While this seemed inevitable, I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed and sad that he’s going back to the Rangers. He was big for the Red Sox in 2013, both on and off the field. Off the field, he was one of original guys who started the beard trend, and of course that was a big part of the culture change from 2012 to 2013. On the field, he hit .259, but more importantly, he hit 23 home runs and drove in 92 runs that year. He struggled a bit in the postseason, but he did hit a big home run off Justin Verlander in the ALCS, and a big 3-run double in game 1 of the World Series.
So, yeah, I’m sad to see him go. The struggles he had this season were definitely unfortunate, but he is still a fan favorite. He’ll always be one of the guys that stands out for me from the 2013 team. At least now he has a chance to compete for a potential playoff contender, as well as a team that he is familiar with. He was extremely close to winning the World Series MVP with the Rangers in 2011, but the Rangers lost out to the St. Louis Cardinals that year.
The Rangers are 3 games out of the 2nd wild card spot at the moment, and a guy like Napoli could really push them over the top if he plays well. Even just having a guy who has played in 2 World Series, and won 1, should be a big help for the Rangers.
See ya, Nap. Thanks for what you did in 2013.