Seattle Mariners Rumors: Mike Napoli Talks Still Taking Place
Seattle Mariners rumors continue to link the team to Mike Napoli. The Mariners could sign Napoli as the first baseman for the team in the 2017 MLB season. He could be a good fit in the middle of the lineup and has the power to improve the offense. A report by baseball analyst Jerry Crasnick claims that dialogue is still taking place between Napoli and the Mariners, suggesting possible interest from both sides.
While continuing dialogue isn’t quite the same as negotiating a deal, it could still be the first step before Napoli agrees to a deal to play at Safeco Field next year. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto stated that he is already “very comfortable” with the position players on the roster. While this didn’t rule out further acquisitions, it seemed to indicate that the franchise was going to focus more on improving the pitching staff.
For these Seattle Mariners rumors to come true and for the team to sign a big-name free agent like Mike Napoli, the front office is going to have to offer him a lot of money. Last season, with the Cleveland Indians, Napoli had 34 home runs, 101 RBIS, and helped the Indians make it all the way to the World Series. He had some negative numbers too, though, with a 0.239 batting average and a career-high 194 strikeouts. Napoli also struggled in the postseason, going just 9-for-56 at the plate with 21 strikeouts.
There is no shortage of teams that are looking to sign a home run hitter to play first base or become a designated hitter this offseason. This means that the Mariners front office could be competing for Napoli’s services as the market starts to thin out. The biggest prize in free agency still appears to be Edwin Encarnacion, as the former slugger of the Toronto Blue Jays has the most upside. His contract is expected to be for at least $20 million per season, with rumored suitors like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. That makes Napoli a less expensive option.
Napoli made $7 million during the 2016 MLB season, but it was a one-year deal to prove that he could still do well at the plate. Before last season, Napoli had made $16 million a year with the Red Sox. After struggling a bit for Boston down the stretch in 2015, the Red Sox traded him to the Texas Rangers. When Napoli posted a 0.143 batting average in the playoffs, the Rangers didn’t bring him back for another season. That opened the doors for the Cleveland Indians.
The Seattle Mariners rumors of signing Mike Napoli started up as soon as the World Series came to a close, but the dialogue seemed to have quieted down after a while. This new report by Crasnick shows that the two sides have kept in contact, even while Napoli may have been negotiating with other clubs. Various rumors about Napoli and his contract demands suggest that he is looking for a three-year deal, but the monetary value has not been revealed by any sources close to the situation.
If the Mariners don’t make any more moves to improve the offense this offseason, the most likely candidates to see a lot of work at first base are Daniel Vogelbach and Danny Valencia. Vogelbach was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in the Mike Montgomery deal, while Valencia was just acquired from the Oakland Athletics in a trade for Minor League pitcher Paul Blackburn. These latest Seattle Mariners rumors seem to indicate that the Jerry Dipoto would still like to improve the roster, though, even if he has hinted at being “done” tinkering with the offense.
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