By Jonathan Peterlin
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians have decided to not extend a qualifying offer to Mike Napoli or outfielder Rajai Davis at a cost of 17.2 million dollars.
The cost is too steep, plain and simple. As much of a fan favorite as the slugging Napoli has become, the production isn’t worth the cost involved. It’s also not normal in the non-steroid ERA to see your best numbers come in your age 35 season as Napoli slugged career highs in homeruns as well as RBI’s. With that involved, this isn’t anything the Indians front office can come to rely on.
To suggest Napoli’s 2016 season is sustainable, isn’t realistic. Worse off for the veteran is the hard truth that those numbers, even at career highs across the board, wouldn’t be worth over seventeen million dollars per season.
It doesn’t help that Napoli’s postseason numbers left a lot to be desired. The right hander hit just .173 while slugging .288 through fifty-two postseason at bats.
Baseball contracts are simple. Smart teams pay for future production, not off the past. Everything is based off projections, and even in Napoli’s best, he doesn’t pan out to being worth over seventeen million per season. So, for the time being, he’ll find himself a free agent.
This doesn’t mean the team has officially moved on from the party. Napoli just becomes a free agent with which the Indians might still be able to make something happen, just at a lower cost.