Napoli gone…Rangers options
Mike Napoli has gone to the Red Sox for three years and $39 million, leaving A.J. Pierzynski as the top free agent catcher on the market. The Rangers never showed much of a willingness to go beyond two years for Napoli.
The Rangers have re-signed catcher Geovany Soto for one year and $3 million but are not done looking for catching. They would like at least somebody who can share duties with Soto.
Two names on the market the Rangers are considering are Kelly Shoppach, who is a free agent, and Bobby Wilson, who was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. There are other possibilities although the Rangers aren’t showing interest in Miguel Olivo.
The Rangers have expessed interest in John Buck, who the Blue Jays acquired from the Marlins last month. They also have interest in J.P. Arencibia, but the Blue Jays want to keep those two and leave top catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud in the Minor Leagues at least at the start of the season.
The Red Sox now have extra catching, having signed Napoli and David Ross in the off-season to go with Jarrod Saltamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway. The Rangers aren’t likely to be interested in trading for Saltalamacchia, having dealt him to the Red Sox two years ago. Lavarnway has been viewed as an offensive prospect who has had to work to improve his defense.
The Red Sox are likely to move one of their catchers even though Napoli was signed mainly to play first base.