Blog Entry

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Posted on: January 25, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 4:15 pm
Frank Francisco
As confirmed by both teams, the Blue Jays and Rangers have pulled the trigger on a deal that sends catcher/DH/first baseman Mike Napoli to Texas in exchange for reliever Frank Francisco and cash.

On its surface, it's tough to see what the Rangers' motivation is here. Francisco's presence was going to allow them to give closer Neftali Feliz a chance to test the waters as a starter. Napoli (who has been a Jay for all of four days after being traded from the Angels) seems to duplicate what the Rangers already had -- the arrival of Adrian Beltre displaced Michael Young, who is going to make $16 million to DH and spell at first and around the infield.

What is Napoli's role? He can catch, but the Rangers already signed Yorvit Torrealba as the starter and have Matt Treanor as the backup. Napoli apparently will play first in place of Mitch Moreland against left-handers and DH when Young is in the field. Napoli, who led the Angels with 26 homers last year, also gives them a power boost. On one level, you could say the Rangers have traded a potentially valuable starter (Feliz) for a backup infielder/DH. Maybe this is a sign the Rangers weren't serious/confident about Feliz as a starter.

It seems like a nice move for the Jays, who not only get the closer they needed (assuming he can beat out Octavio Dotel) but save money in the process. Continuing the momentum of his fleecing of the Angels, it's been a nice week for general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Both players have arbitration hearings pending. Napoli is asking for $6.1 million while the Angels set the team number at $5.3 million. Francisco asked for $4.875 million with the Rangers offering $3.5 million.

-- David Andriesen

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Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 8:50 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Does this mean Napoli wont be wearing a Jays hat when he gets inducted into the hall?

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 8:33 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Ok i am starting to think my fellow blue jays fans are being brain washed by AA. what in the world is he doing. Ok you get rid of vernon wells big contract. fine thats what you wanted to do and have been trying to do for a while now. when you get rid of his bat that leaves a gaping whole in the outfield and please don't tell me raji davis is gonna produce more than wells cause i won't buy that.  anyways, now you give up one of the pieces you get in the vw trade and get frank francisco? very questionable move their too. so now you not only gave up your chance to compete this year when the yankees are most vulnerable because of their starting pitching you keep selling to get less and less money off the books. every year i am getting tired of hearing 11, 12, 13.. when are they gonna spend some darn money and try and win. the bullpen is shaping up to be great yeah. but for how long. before they sell the whole damn team.. get it together jays please.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 7:47 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Great move by Alex Anthopoulos, Dumping VW's contract and picking a potential relief/starting pitcher for next season all in few days. Thinking back to last season, I remember when the jays picked up another relief/starting pitcher from Seattle last year. Brandon Morrow went 10-7 last season and almost no hit Tampa Bay, Well everyone No hits Tampa Bay. Still a slick move by young GM. Just please don't overpay for Jose Bautista. TWO WORDS... Brady Anderson, Just Sayin.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Im liking the jays this year.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 7:15 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

I can easily see the motivation behind the move on the part of the Blue Jays.  They brought in a Mike Napoli who can catch about 60% of the time and DH of 1B the other 40% of the time.  With Jose Molina on board as the support mechanism behind up-and-comer J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind manning 1B the vast majority of the time, Napoli was a $6-7 million luxury the team did not need.  However, he's more than serviceable to a number of other teams so they flipped him for something they thought they needed -- a closer.  Whether or not we think Frank Francisco can do the job consistently is another story.  He's better than what they have, so that was a start.  However, I have to think that they could have gotten more for Napoli had they done a little competitive shopping and bargain hunting.  I would think Oakland (Kurt Suzuki is not the answer behind the plate) could have offered a little better quality for the Jays' bullpen.

I don't understand the move on the part of the Rangers.  I can understand all of the Ranger fans chiming in that they were not trusting Francisco and didn't want him to regain the closer job if Neftali Perez moved into the rotation.  But what I don't understand is picking up a C/1B/DH to play the bench at $6 million plus per year.  I get that Napoli is a solid hitter with power and he plays nice with others, but can you have that on your bench to the tune of $6 million per?  If it was about an extra bat off the bench, I have a feeling that Vlad Guerrero is going to end up signing a contract for 2011 for something closer to $5 since the market for him has dried up dramatically.  It just seems a little odd when you look at what Texas already has on the roster and factor in what Napoli brings to the table.

Since: Dec 24, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2011 7:08 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

I really like this trade by the Rangers. Frankie Francisco has lost velocity and confidence and is no longer closer material. He is still effective but the Rangers need position player depth rather than a pitcher who is keeping young guns out of the bigs. The Rangers now have the ability to keep their team fresh during the summer months and for the second half of a long season. It also opens up the possbility of trading Michael Young if a drop-dead deal comes along.

Since: Jan 17, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:54 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

I guess I should start calling out all those Angel fans, by name, who told me I was a moron for saying before last season that this decade was ours. Cool

I love to see shameful faces in action.

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:23 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Slick move by the Rangers. 
You think the Rangers might have been involved from the beginning?
The Anaheim Angels of LA or whatever there name is are arrogant.
GM Reagins is not getting it done.
Even the trade for Harren from AZ last year was a bad deal.
The Angels gave up too much in both deals and took on alot of money.
2011 will bring a 2nd place finish and no playoffs again!

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:19 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

Please do not ever mention playing Edward Encarnacion, whether as a backup or a ball-boy, as something positive for a major league team. Resigining him was a bone-head move by AA, but one easily fixable by just cutting the guy. Hopefully, he will.

I like this trade though. The Jays have enough guys that hit about .230 and Francisco has the potential to be a key piece in a bullpen that was okay last year, but shaky too often in close games.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:16 pm

Jays, Rangers swap Napoli, Francisco

I like that AA moved quickly to correct the logjam created by adding Napoli.  Arencibia is going to get his shot this year to play regularly.  Adam Lind is being groomed for 1B, with Encarnacion as his back up and full-time DH.  Napoli would have been forced in creating a constant rotation.

And, without Lind being bumped back to the outfield, the Jays will clearly start Rivera in left, Davis in centre and Snider in right.  Bautista will play 3B.

The only way this gets shifted is if Hechevarria burns up spring training.  Then he plays 2B, Hill goes to 3B, Bautista to the outfiield and Rivera to the bench.

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