In news that seems to further push Mike Napoli out the door, the Texas Rangers and Geovany Soto have agreed to a new one-year deal. Soto came over to the Rangers in a trade involving the Chicago Cubs back in July. Even then, his presence had the rumors of Napoli's future swirling.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweeted the news out last night.
Geovany Soto has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers, pending a physical.
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) December 3, 2012
Napoli battled through a quad injury in 2012, and he struggled at the plate. Despite hitting 24 home runs, Napoli only hit .227 on the season. He was not given a qualifying offer by the Rangers and has been discussing contracts with numerous teams. The Rangers have not shut the door on re-signing Napoli, but Soto's contract could mean that door is closer to being closed.
Soto wasn't exactly the picture of health last season either. He suffered a torn meniscus that kept him out for about three weeks in May. The 29-year old only played in 99 games overall. In those games, he hit .198/.270/.343. He struggled with the Cubs and struggled even more with the Rangers. But he's cheaper than Napoli.
Soto made $4.3 million in 2012, but he will almost certainly make less than that in 2013. That could be the main selling point for the Rangers who hope to spend their money elsewhere, including starting pitching and the outfield.