Busy day in Seattle.
Dave Cameron, backed up by Francisco Blavia, tweets that the Mariners are on the verge of signing the arbitration-eligible Franklin Gutierrez to a four-year extension valued at $20.5 million. (UPDATE: Rosenthal now confirms it).
In addition to solidifying the M’s centerfield for some time, it means that Dustin Ackley — who was drafted as a centerfielder and played there during the Arizona Fall League — is most definitely moving to second base. Of course, he played first base before being drafted, so maybe he goes there once Kotchman’s race has run in Seattle. He doesn’t have the power of your typical first baseman, but then again, neither does Kotchman.
Mike Napoli suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus while playing for Triple-A Columbus the other night. The injury will require season-ending surgery.
Given that Napoli will turn 37 this year, given that he will need 10-14 months of rehab and given that, as it was, he was unable to find a major league gig, it’s almost certain that this injury will end Napoli’s career.
Napoli was off to a 1-for-24 start at Columbus after signing a minor league contract with the Indians this spring. He hit .193/.285/.428 for the Rangers in 2017. If this is it for Napoli, he’ll end his career with a line of .246/.346/.475 with 267 homers and 744 driven in. He appeared in the World Series with the 2011 Rangers, the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Indians, winning a ring with Boston.