After no offer, Napoli Houston bound?

After no offer, Napoli Houston bound?
November 2, 2012, 4:15 pm
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(US Presswire)

On Friday, the Rangers extended a qualifying offer to Josh Hamilton.

They did not make one for catcher Mike Napoli, which could be the first step in Napoli's becoming an Astro.

Earlier this week, MLBTradeRumors.com thought that Napoli would end up in Houston. Here's what they said.

"A qualifying offer would be a risky move on the Rangers' part; if they make it, the 31-year-old might feel compelled to accept.  There aren't too many teams looking to spend big money on catching.  The Rays could fit on a team-friendly deal, while the Astros have the payroll space but not necessarily the inclination.

"Napoli, who just turned 31 on Halloween, was a first-time All-Star in 2012 even though he hit just .227 with 24 homers and 56 RBIs. His best season came in 2011, when he batted .320 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs."

So far, so good.

Napoli, as MLBRumors suspected, did not receive that qualifying offer and will be able to sign with any club on Saturday.

Basically, the way qualifying offers work is simple. This year's offer is $13.3 million (the average of the top 125 MLB contracts). The player who receives the offer can sign with that club or he can sign elsewhere. If the player signs elswhere, the team that made the offer gets compensatory draft picks.

Get it?

The Rangers weren't prepared to pay Napoli $13.3 million for 2013 after he made $9.8 million in 2012.

Although they weren't willing to pay him that much, it doesn't mean the Rangers aren't still interested in Napoli. They'll stay in contact but Napoli will have a chance to test the free agent market.

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