ESPN.com's Buster Olney looked at four of the biggest surprises in terms of qualifying offers. He lists Mike Napoli as one that was a surprise to some rival executives that he wasn't offered a one-year, $13.3 million deal. Here's part of what Olney writes:
Napoli, 31, hit 24 homers and batted .227, with production that was similar at home and on the road. Some rival officials thought that the Rangers -- fast becoming one of baseball's most affluent teams -- would gamble on the one-year qualifying offer on Napoli, in what could be a win-win bet. If he had signed elsewhere, they would've gotten the pick, and if he had taken their qualifying offer, they would've locked in a one-year solution to their catching without having to pay out a huge contract.
As we've discussed, GM Jon Daniels said the club just wasn't comfortable paying $13.3 million to Napoli for one year, especially committing that kind of cash this early in the offseason. But he also acknowledged that this isn't a good year to be looking for a catcher. The Rangers are still interested in Napoli and hope they can get something done with the catcher. I don't blame the club for not wanting to spend that kind of money off what Napoli did last year. But it does mean that if they can't get a deal done with him, they'll have to get creative to find some catching help.
They've also got to make a decision on Geovany Soto, who is arbitration-eligible. He could cost around $5 million for one year. But that's just a guess. Texas has until the end of the month to make that call.