During the MLB offseason we see a good amount of free agent signings that help turn franchises around. Some of these signings are monumental, and others are key smaller moves to fill out the whole. However, there will be signings that should be happening, but likely won’t.
Recently, R.J. Anderson over at CBS Sports put together a list of free agent signings that should happen, but won’t. In this list, there were several signings that seemingly made a lot of sense, but for some reason won’t happen for the teams involved. In a similar fashion, I will take an approach in ranking the best deals that won’t happen, except ranking my top three. Every season we see players that seem to be the perfect mold for a particular system be passed on. This will rank these deals; they won’t be deals that we should expect to happen. Instead, they are deals that we should expect to not happen, to the displeasure of us all.
3. Mike Napoli – Toronto Blue Jays
Mike Napoli had a resurgence in 2016, a resurgence that nearly capped off with a World Series ring. Now, heading into his age-35 season, Napoli is worth more than recent memory. Despite that, the slugger has yet to ink a contract with a major league ball club. Most of the AL ball clubs have solid designated hitters, and the options for first base are limited. Perhaps not many teams are interested in Napoli because of this. One of these teams that likely isn’t interested, but definitely should be, is the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays looked to replace the electric bat of Edwin Encarnacion with slugger Kendrys Morales. Honestly, the move itself wasn’t the best. Although it did make them better, it didn’t fill the gap that Encarnacion left. Morales just isn’t the dynamic bat that Encarnacion is, and bringing in another bat in Napoli can help fill that hole. Adding Napoli’s 34 home runs would be huge for the Jays, although 25 is a more realistic output. Still, slotting Napoli at first and Morales at DH can match, if not exceed the amount of production that Encarnacion created.
However, this deal will likely never happen. The young Blue Jays likely don’t want to bring in yet another old slugger (looking at you, Jose Bautista!). Also, the Jays already have Justin Smoak at first base to platoon with Steve Pearce. Mike Napoli could have been a great addition, but the Blue Jays seem to already be going in a different direction.