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Jorge Camargo
Contributing Writer

Photo from Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports
Mike Napoli was placed on waivers earlier this week, along with Rusney Castillo, Hanley Ramirez, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt, Craig Breslow and Justin Masterson. The first baseman was a late scratch from the starting lineup for today's game, and it was explained that it was not due to an injury. During the first inning of NESN transmission of tonight's game, Don Orsillo and Eckersley mentioned that the reason of why Mike Napoli was scratched of the lineup wasn't confirmed. Minutes after that, WEEI's Rob Bradford reported that Napoli was traded to the Rangers. The return is a player to be named later or cash considerations.

The first baseman is going through his worst offensive season to date, with a .207 batting average, 13 home runs and 40 RBI. However, his numbers since the All-Star break are somewhat encouraging. Historically, Napoli is a batter that has better numbers in the second half and this year he is posting a .267 batting average with three homeruns, 10 RBI and a .362 OBP.

In contrast with the Red Sox, the Rangers are not out of contention. They are 2.5 games behind the wild card and with Cole Hamels being their "ace" right now, you can make a strong case for them being a dark horse in the playoff race. It isn't clear yet what position will Mike Napoli play for them, but you can speculate that he will remain a first baseman.



As for the Red Sox, at least they now have an opportunity to evaluate the first baseman position without having an expensive contract into consideration. Travis Shaw is bringing a great offense to the table since his call up and maybe Hanley or Pablo can switch positions now. I wrote about the Allen Craig Dilemma a few months ago and with a long-term contract, now they can also consider bringing him back regardless of his numbers in Pawtucket.

You can say whatever you want about Napoli's numbers in 2014 and 2015 and his strikeouts in 2013, but the World Series couldn't be possible without him. With a .259 batting average, 23 homers and a career-high of 92 RBI, Napoli had several of the most importants hits of the playoffs with the solo-shot (and only run) in Game 3 of the ALCS and the double in the first game of the World Series that scored the first three runs of the game.

You'll surely be missed, Mike Napoli.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and for more Red Sox stuff, follow me at @iamjorgecamargo.

Jorge Camargo 8/07/2015 08:20:00 PM Edit
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