Mike Napoli, who had three stints with the Texas Rangers, most notably for the 2011 American League Championship team, has announced his retirement from baseball. Napoli had signed with the Cleveland Indians last season, but torn his right ACL while playing in AAA to get ready for the season.
Napoli, 37, broke into the majors as a catcher for the Anaheim Angels, splitting time behind the plate with current Ranger catcher Jeff Mathis. In one of the more remarkable, and fateful, sequence of events in MLB history, after the 2010 season, the Angels pursued free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, but balked at his asking price. This resulted in Beltre signing with the Texas Rangers, and reacting to that move, the Angels shipped Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera to the Toronto Blue Jays for outfielder Vernon Wells. Wells was a disaster for the Angels, Napoli was traded to Texas a week later for Frank Francisco and became a fan favorite, and Beltre, of course, was Adrian Beltre.
After two terrific seasons in Texas, Napoli spent the next two and a half seasons with the Boston Red Sox, before being acquired in August, 2015, by the Rangers to help their offense for the stretch run. Napoli, who had struggled that season while with the Red Sox, had a resurgence in Texas, putting up a .295/.396/.513 slash line in 91 plate appearances while playing first base and making an occasional appearance in left field. He then joined the Cleveland Indians for the 2016 before returning to Texas for his third stint here in 2017.
Napoli ends his career with a .246/.346/.475 slash line in 5330 plate appearances, with 1125 hits and 267 home runs along with a career 27.4 bWAR. Not a bad career for a 17th round draft pick.
You can read his announcement below:
THANK YOU... pic.twitter.com/CzhaoU9YUH— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) December 8, 2018