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.
Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.
Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.
Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.
Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.