Rangers sign free agent 1B/DH Mike Napoli to one-year contract with club option for 2018

Veteran returns for third stint with Texas; set career highs in HR and RBI in 2016 with Cleveland

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli (#5) to a one-year contract for the 2017 season, with a club option for 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.
 
Napoli, 35, is coming off a 2016 season in which he batted .239 with 34 home runs and 101 RBI over 150 games for the American League champion Cleveland Indians. He established career highs last year in hits (133), home runs, and RBI. He made 149 total starts at first base (98) and designated hitter (51), serving as Cleveland's primary cleanup batter with 140 games in that lineup slot.
 
Napoli has played in 256 games over two-plus seasons with Texas in 2011-12 and 2015, landing his lone career All-Star selection with the Rangers in 2012. He has a career slash line of .277/.381/.548/.929 for Texas, and the Rangers have reached the playoffs in each of Napoli's three seasons with the club. He would join Bill Haselman, Kenny Rogers, Ruben Sierra, and Darren Oliver as the only players to spend three separate tours of major league duty with the organization.
 
He enters 2017 with a career rate of 4.37 pitches seen per plate appearance, a figure which rates second all-time since the stat was first tracked in 1988 (credit STATS LLC), trailing only Jayson Werth (4.40) among players with at least 3000 plate appearances. Napoli owns a career .903 OPS figure against left-handed pitching. He joins Toronto's Russell Martin as the only big league players to have appeared in the postseason in 8 of the last 10 seasons (2007-09, 2011-13, 2015-16). Napoli also leads all active players with 15 RBI in 19 career World Series games.
 
With the signing of Napoli, the Rangers are now at the 40-player limit on the major league roster, along with two players (Jake Diekman and Prince Fielder) on the 60-day disabled list.