The Mariners want in on free agent Mike Napoli
First baseman Mike Napoli has attracted a number of suitors this offseason after mashing 34 home runs and an .800 OPS with the Indians in 2016. According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Mariners are the latest to inquire about the 35-year-old’s bat, which could give the Indians some stiff competition as they look to re-sign him for 2017.
Napoli entered free agency earlier this month after the Indians chose not to extend him a $17.2 million qualifying offer. He signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Cleveland prior to the 2016 season and slashed .239/.335/.465 with 101 RBI in 557 PA with the club, a career-high mark for the veteran infielder.
Napoli is no stranger to the AL West, where he spent the better part of eight seasons with the Angels and Rangers. In Seattle, he could give the Mariners another right-handed bat to work with, which has been something of a priority for Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto this offseason. Carving out a spot in the lineup might be challenging, however, with Nelson Cruz pegged for the DH spot and Dan Vogelbach sharing first base duties with Danny Valencia.