Rangers trade Francisco to Toronto for Napoli

Well, this is interesting...

Ken Rosenthal is tweeting that the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly close on a deal that would send newly acquired catcher/1B Mike Napoli to the Rangers for reliever Frank Francisco.

I wondered a day or two ago about whether the Rangers would have any interest in Napoli, who is what, I think, everyone had hoped Max Ramirez would turn into...a bad defensive catcher with enough pop that he can provide value behind the plate, at first base, or as a DH.

Napoli would give the Rangers their righty bench bat they've been looking for, allow them to pinch run or pinch hit for Yorvit Torrealba or Matt Treanor more aggressively (since Napoli can catch, although he presumably wouldn't do so that often for Texas), and provide insurance should Mitch Moreland struggle in his sophomore season.

The price tag on Napoli (he'll make around $6 million this year) was such that I thought Texas might be scared off, but removing Francisco, who will make just a little less, obviously minimizes the payroll hit.  And Francisco is a valuable piece of the bullpen, but the Rangers are pretty deep in relief arms that can contribute right now.

This would be an intriguing move, and my initial reaction is, a good one...

UPDATE -- Rangers have apparently confirmed that they've traded Francisco for Napoli.

UPDATE II -- Multiple tweets indicate the Rangers are also kicking cash into the deal.

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