Rangers Trade Francisco for Napoli
Ok, now the Rangers are just playing with their division rival Angels.
Days after the Angels were schooled by the Blue Jays and sent Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli to Toronto for Vernon Wells, essentially losing power in their order and adding payroll, things have gotten a whole lot worse for the Halos.
The Blue Jays have flipped Napoli to the Rangers for hard throwing reliever Frank Francisco who the Rangers had penciled in as the 7th inning reliever in front of Alexi Ogando and closer Neftali Feliz.
I'm sure many will once again jump all over the Angels for making such a move possible with a terrible trade of their own last week, but the Rangers impact is much more important.
This is after all a Rangers blog right.
Napoli coming to Texas gives the Rangers the right handed bat off the bench the team has been looking for all winter, but he also gives the Rangers insurance at both 1st base and catcher; depth the team will likely use extensively this season.
Napoli's ability to spot start at catcher will keep the Rangers catchers fresh in the summer heat by starting a game or two a week behind the dish even if all the catchers are healthy.
Offensively Napoli gives the Rangers another power bat for an already strong batting order, giving the Rangers home run power throughout the everyday lineup and on the bench.
Playing last season in the pitcher friendly park in Anaheim didn't stop Napoli from slugging 26 home runs; just five less than Vernon Wells who he was originally traded for last week.
Bottom line, the Rangers have addressed many needs both on offense and defense without creating a large hole elsewhere on the roster.
Even when healthy last season Francisco was far less than a lock to shutdown the opposition in his inning of work and the Rangers have exceptional depth in the bullpen.
This of course makes it even less likely that closer Neftali Feliz or reliever Alexi Ogando will be moved into the rotation and certainly brings the club's pursuit of Vladimir Guerrero to an abrupt end.
The roster should now be all set for Spring Training that opens in three weeks, unless of course Jon Daniels has any other surprises in the works.
Something he has become very good at pulling off over the past few years.