This is not a repeat from last winter, when the Mariners were in pretty serious negotiations with Mike Napoli but backed out when his hip problems presented themselves. This is new interest, reports Ken Rosenthal, who is unsure how serious the M’s are this time around, but who are definitely in on Napoli now.
And they should be, as both Rosenthal’s arguments and the Mariners’ clear needs make plain. But after Napoli showed himself both healthy and productive — and showed some surprisingly good leather at first base — there are a lot of teams who are going to be interested. And as we noted with respect to Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz this morning, the M’s are not likely going to be at the top of Napoli’s list unless they’re willing to go substantially longer and richer than anyone else.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.