January 25, 2011
Just when we thought we were getting close to cracking the conversion rate on Napoli's nightlife pictures north of the border, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has put his newly acquired catcher back on a plane. Napoli is now headed to the Texas Rangers, who will send reliever Frank Francisco(notes) (and cash) back to the Blue Jays bullpen.
Napoli landed with Toronto after Friday's surprising Vernon Wells(notes) trade, but the presence of young J.P. Arencibia(notes) at Rogers Centre made him expendable. His defensive liabilities mean he'll likely platoon with Yorvit Torrealba(notes) in Texas, yet his bat should be a welcome addition at Rangers Ballpark and in the team's lineup.
Fun fact: Mike Napoli has gone 0-for-5 with four strikeouts when facing Frank Francisco.
Francisco, meanwhile, will be a top-quality addition to the Blue Jays bullpen if he can stay healthier than he did last year. And if you're keeping score at home, Anthopoulos needed less than a week to turn Wells' $86 million contract into a much more affordable outfielder/DH (Juan Rivera(notes)) and a reliever that will greatly improve his bullpen. The line of candidates for 2011 GM of the Year starts with him.