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.