Indians release Napoli, likely to re-sign on minor league deal


Indians fans knew that Mike Napoli’s tenure with the club was going to be short when the team signed him in February.

On Thursday, the team announced that the 36 year old slugger was released from his minor league deal that also gave him an invite to the major league camp.

On Friday, Napoli was still in camp and told reporters that he would likely re-sign with the Indians next week unless another team offers him a major league roster spot.

Cleveland will wrap up spring training on Tuesday when they face Arizona in their final game before heading to Seattle where they’ll open the regular season against the Mariners.

If no major league team comes calling, Napoli will likely sign and head to Columbus to join the Clippers, the Indians Triple A organization. Napoli hasn’t played full time in the minor league since 2005 when he was a 23 year old prospect in the Los Angeles Angels farm system.

Napoli however said he’ll make a decision when the time is necessary and manager Terry Francona told reporters that Napoli will meet with Indians team president Chris Antonetti on Saturday to discuss the two sides future.

He’s appeared in 11 games for the Indians during the spring, appearing at the plate 27 times hitting .185 with a home run, 2 RBIs, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. That one home run came last week during their exhibition matchup last week against the Chicago Cubs.

Having him in the organization in some form will be great because he’s a great veteran presence and locker room guy whether it’s in the major leagues if injuries occur or down in Columbus with the upcoming young prospects like Francisco Mejia and Greg Allen.

The Party at Napoli’s was short lived but that doesn’t mean the party has to stop officially.

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