posted at 11/28/2012 5:53 AM EST
In response to Drewski5's comment:
I see 2 great years, and 5 good years. If you saw 5 great years, then we would be talking about a Mauer contract.
Mauer signed whan he was still a "great" catcher. Napoli is a poor defender at catcher and first:
Is Mike Napoli as bad at catcher defense as it seems?
-thrown out a below-average rate of would-be base-stealers over his career.
-blocked a below-average rate of blockable pitches.
What is the deal with Mike Napoli's pitch-framing effectiveness?
That depends on how you feel about pitch-framing studies. But, Mike Fast found Napolito be pretty strongly negative. Matthew Carruth found Napoli to be pretty strongly negative, after 2012. According to CarruthâÂÂs numbers, Napoli had his then-worst framing season in 2011, then he followed that up with an even worse 2012. We donâÂÂt know anything about pitch-framing aging curves, because we hardly even know anything about pitch framing, but Carruth found that, in 2012, Napoli was nearly two pitches below average per game.
I find it much more likely that a well documented hamstring injury that lingered through the season was the reason for the K spike. He was 30 years old last year.
A history of hamstring problems in a 30+ catcher sounds ominous.
From 2008-2011, his OPS was top 5 among firstbaseman. Thats with the wear and tear of catching. He's one of the best power hitters in the league and he's 31 years old. He draws a ton of walks. There's a reason why he's target #1.
There is a reason Texas didn't make MN a qualifying offer. They weren't willing to risk $13.3/ one year deal despite a compensation pick coming to them if he went elsewhere.
I'm not as against signing MN as much as say I was about Werth/Crawford/Bay/Lackey deals, but my take is that signing MN has the strong potential for paying for past performance for a player with old-player skills. (I was pro Cameron signing, oops)
I'd rather stick to one or two year contracts ( like Beltre ) and trade Lester/Ells to stock prospects. Then hope a CC Sabathia type comes up for FA and get him after 2013 or '14.