The Texas Rangers have traded relief pitcher Frank Francisco and cash to the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher/1B Mike Napoli.
From the Rangers' official release:
The Texas Rangers today acquired catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Frank Francisco and cash considerations.
The 29-year-old Napoli had been acquired by Toronto along with outfielder Juan Rivera from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for outfielder Vernon Wells on January 21. The right-handed hitter batted .238 with 26 homers and 68 RBI in 140 games with the Angels in 2010, his fifth season with the club. Napoli set career bests for games, at bats (453), hits (108), doubles (24), homers, and RBI. He led the Angels in homers and slugging (.468), tied for fourth in doubles, and ranked fifth in RBI. Napoli also batted a team best .305 (43-141) vs. left-handed pitching.
After appearing exclusively behind the plate in his first four seasons with Los Angeles, Napoli started 67 games at first base (70 total games) and 59 at catcher (66 total games) in 2010. He became the Angels’ primary first baseman following the season ending injury to Kendry Morales on May 29. Napoli threw out 13 of 68 runners attempting to steal this past season.
Napoli has a career major league average of .251 with 92 homers and 249 RBI in 506 games with Los Angeles from 2006-10. His 75 career homers as a catcher are the most ever for an Angels’ backstop, and his .485 career slugging percentage is sixth best in club history. He split the Angels’ catching duties with Jeff Mathis each of the past four seasons and has three consecutive years with 20 or more homers (20 in both 2008 and 2009). Napoli posted a career best .272 average in 2009. He has appeared in 14 career playoff games with the Angels.
Francisco was 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA and 2 saves in 56 appearances for the Rangers in 2010. He opened the season as Texas’ closer but spent most of the year in a set-up role behind A.L. Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz. The right-hander missed the final five weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason with a right latissimus dorci muscle strain. He was granted free agency at the end of the season and accepted the Rangers’ offer of salary arbitration on November 30. Francisco is 17-15, 3.75 with 32 saves in 277 major league games, all with Texas from 2004-10.
Napoli is unsigned and eligible for salary arbitration in 2011, joining outfielder Josh Hamilton as Rangers still eligible for arbitration.
With today’s transactions, Texas’ major league roster remains at the 40-man limit.