Detroit Tigers free agency primer: Examining the first base market
It’s possible, but there are some hurdles
2017 team: Texas Rangers
2017 stat of note: .235 ISO
A prime candidate to be signed to a one-year deal and flipped for prospects in July, Mike Napoli may or may not hit the free agent market.
According to Spotrac, the 35-year-old has an $11 million option on his contract for next which Texas can either exercise or buy out for $2.5 million.
With Joey Gallo now blocking Napoli at first base, and Willie Calhoun, Nomar Mazara and Shin-Soo Choo candidates to rotate in from the outfield to designated hitter, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Rangers moved on from Napoli.
It doesn’t hurt that the veteran is a .274 hitter with a .340 on-base percentage, a .578 slugging percentage, a .918 OPS, 23 RBI and 12 home runs in 150 lifetime plate appearances at Comerica Park.
2017 team: New York Yankees
2017 stat of note: .201 ISO
While Napoli’s hurdle is whether he’ll enter the free agent market, Holliday’s would be if he’d consider signing up for part of a rebuild in the twilight of his career.
At 38, the veteran helped the Yankees back to the playoffs with a .201 ISO, 37 extra-base hits and a 98 wRC+ in 427 plate appearances.
Operating as a designated hitter and occasional first baseman, Holiday would probably need to play the field more in Detroit with Cabrera at designated hitter.
Like Napoli, he’d be a potential trade chip at the deadline.