Rangers Avoid Arbitration with Napoli, Sign $5M Deal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 19: Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees is tagged by Mike Napoli #44 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after Teixeira struck out swinging ending the third inning Game Three of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mark Teixeira;Mike Napoli

    The Texas Rangers agreed to terms Saturday on a $5.8 million contract for Mike Napoli, avoiding arbitration with the catcher-first baseman the AL champions just acquired in a trade.

    With Napoli's agreement, the only Texas player still eligible for arbitration is AL MVP Josh Hamilton. The slugger has asked for $12 million, $3.3 million more than the team has offered. Hamilton has said he is "counting on" having the case go to a hearing Feb. 14.

    The Rangers also announced the signing of Cuban first baseman Jose Ruiz to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. Ruiz spent last summer in Tampa Bay's organization.

    Napoli was traded to Texas from Toronto on Tuesday, his second move in five days. Los Angeles Angels had sent him to the Blue Jays in the Vernon Wells deal Jan. 21. Before those two trades, Napoli had exchanged salary figures and requested $6.1 million from the Angels, who proposed $5.3 million.

    Ruiz was released from Tampa Bay's 40-man roster in November, then given his unconditional release. He hit .447 (21 of 47) with a homer and nine RBIs in 13 games for the Rays' team in the Dominican Summer League and finished the season at Double-A Montgomery, where he hit .272 with a homer and 11 RBIs in 23 games.

    The addition of Ruiz gives Texas 13 non-roster invitees for spring training.

    Texas also signed right-hander Ty Taubenheim and catcher Robinzon Diaz to minor league deals. Both have previously appeared in the majors.

    Taubenheim, who spent last season in Philadelphia's organization, is 1-5 with a 5.09 ERA in 14 major league games for Toronto (2006-07) and Pittsburgh (2008).

    Diaz spent all last season at Triple-A Toledo in Detroit's organization. He hit .281 in 44 major league games for Toronto (2008) and Pittsburgh (2008-09).