There's a chance Cliff Lee returns this month

Leave a comment

cliff lee throwing.JPGThe Mariners were so encouraged by Cliff Lee’s 63-pitch bullpen session on Monday that they haven’t ruled out his return before the end of the month. Here’s what manager Don Wakamatsu told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

“Yeah, that’s our tendency right now…that’s a possibility,” Wakamatsu
said.

Lee’s return might be expedited if the Mariners choose to limit him to one simulated game followed by one minor league rehab start. One significant factor in this timetable is whether Lee’s five-game suspension is reduced during his appeal hearing on Wednesday.

Basically, worst-case scenario is that M’s fans get Lee back in the first week of May. That doesn’t sound so bad right now.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.