According the Cleveland Indians beat writer Jordan Bastian, the Tribe are holding steadfast on a one-year offer for slugger Mike Napoli, despite his desire for a multi-year deal.
Indians met with Napoli's camp on Monday. CLE trying for one-year deal. Heard if it were two years, he may have already signed with them.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 6, 2016
It’s not surprising that the Indians want Napoli back on a one-year deal. At 35 years old and coming off of a career-high 34 home runs, it’s not hard to imagine getting one more year of an above-average hitter with power out of Napoli. But past that, he is showing signs of a steep decline on the horizon.
In particular, he struck out in 30.1 percent of his at-bats last season, and his production dropped off of a cliff late in the season and into the postseason. Not to mention his defense at first base eroding to even worse than that of Carlos Santana, according to advanced metrics.
Also not surprising, Napoli himself would love to return to Cleveland, a city that embraced him with open arms with a coach that he is very familiar with.
Cleveland hits lots of check marks for Napoli: Francona, training staff, winning team, familiarity. Would love to return on multi-year deal.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 6, 2016
Napoli indicates, through Bastian, that he’s optimistic he could get a multi-year deal somewhere else. No way to know if that’s true, of course, but I would be okay with the Indians passing on three more years of parties.