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CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians may have found a much-needed right-handed hitter — at the right price.
Cleveland has an agreement with free agent first baseman Mike Napoli on a $7 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the contract told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Napoli's deal includes $3 million in performance bonuses, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because Napoli must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized.
The Indians, who have been relatively inactive during free agency, have long sought a power hitter from the right side. The 34-year-old Napoli has 204 career homers, a .253 average and 577 RBIs.
He can play first base, fill in at catcher — he was an All-Star in 2012 — and the Indians can use him as a designated hitter along with Carlos Santana. Last season, he played 111 games at first, 11 in left field and three at DH.
Napoli hit .224 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs with Boston and Texas. After being traded to the Rangers, he batted .295 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 35 games.
Napoli hit a career-high 30 homers in 2011 for Texas. In 2013, he hit 23 homers with 92 RBIs while helping the Red Sox win the World Series.
Cleveland's mid-market payroll has prevented general manager Chris Antonetti from pursuing any of the upper-tier sluggers on the market, forcing him to find bargains. Napoli appears to be just that, a player who can provide the Indians' lineup with some pop and has proven postseason experience.
NOTES: Indians RHP Cody Anderson underwent an emergency appendectomy in Glendale, Arizona, on Tuesday night. The Indians expect Anderson to resume his normal off-season training activities within a month. Anderson went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts last season.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.
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