Seattle Mariners rumors have the team trying to sign Mike Napoli away from the Cleveland Indians. The Mariners could play Napoli at first base for the 2017 MLB season, giving the team added offense in the middle of the batting order. A report by baseball analyst Jim Bowden confirms that the Mariners are among “many teams” giving the Indians “serious competition” to sign one of the big-name free agents this offseason.
During the 2016 MLB season, Mike Napoli posted a 0.239 batting average over 645 plate appearances. Napoli did have positive power numbers, though, with 34 home runs, 101 RBIs, and an 0.800 OPS to his credit. Playing first base and spending some time at designated hitter, Napoli made $7 million on a one-year contract with the Indians.
The Mariners have actively been looking to add more offense to the roster, with Dipoto making quite a few moves since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Mariners have already traded for catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Los Angeles Dodgers and utility man Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics. Jerry Dipoto also completed several trades that exchanged minor league players with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
These Seattle Mariners rumors make sense for the franchise, as Mike Napoli is a right-handed power hitter who could easily fit in the middle of the batting order. If the Mariners did sign Napoli, it is presumed that he would hit sixth in the order, following Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager. That could be a lineup that leads to a lot of home runs for the Mariners during the 2017 MLB season.
Napoli just turned 35-years-old, so it is presumed that his next contract is going to be for three or four seasons. It had been expected that he would re-sign with the Cleveland Indians through a contract extension, but that didn’t take place during last season. Now he is a free agent who can look to sign with another franchise, even though he may prefer to stay in Cleveland. The Indians are fresh off winning the American League pennant and almost brought a World Series title back to Cleveland.
A report by Fox Sports recently predicted where all the major free agents would sign during the offseason. The statement given there was that Napoli was “too vital a performer and leader for the Tribe to let him walk.” A new report by ESPN.com disagreed with that prediction, stating that the best “fit” for Napoli in free agency would be with the Minnesota Twins. In Minnesota, he could be the cleanup hitter next year.
While the latest Seattle Mariners rumors could make sense for the team and for Mike Napoli, there are several other teams with deeper pockets that might look to sign him as well. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are looking to improve on offense during the MLB free agency period, and Napoli might be a perfect fit for them. The Red Sox need to replace David Ortiz and have a past relationship with Napoli. He played three years with the Red Sox before signing a deal with the Cleveland Indians.
The outlook is pretty good for Mike Napoli and his agent, as he is going to get a big contract in free agency. Having 34 home runs and 101 RBIs last season, Napoli has the type of power that could be a huge addition to a need needing a bump on offense. Could Napoli soon find a place to call home at Safeco Field? Stay tuned fans, because these Seattle Mariners rumors also indicate that the front office has already been in contact about signing him.
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