Oct 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) warms up during batting practice prior to game two of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Out With Smoak, In With...Mike Napoli?

With the World Series behind us the offseason is starting to take shape for the Seattle Mariners. The team got off on the right track after the hiring of Lloyd McClendon. With free agency looming over our heads, here is quick look at what might be the next big move for the M’s.

I may just be starting another Mariners free agency rumor but I think we should take another look at signing Mike Napoli. I can feel the collective ‘duh’ thoughts after reading that last sentence just so you know. The Mariners missed out on Napoli last season, which at the time may have looked like a good decision due to a lingering ankle injury and hip injury. But after seeing how Napoli contributed to the Boston Red Sox this season, you can’t help but want him on your team.

He came into October one of the hotter hitters in the American League. After a season of confusing stat lines for Napoli, he seemed to make an adjustment in September which carried him and the Sox into October versus Detroit.

He finished the 2013 regular season at .259/.360/.482 with a .842 OPS. The frustration Napoli started for everyone is the ups and downs of his swing. He is either hot or cold, there is no in between.

His strikeout numbers totaled 187. This stat should be over looked by everyone though. Just ask if Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox fans care how many times Chris Davis or Adam Dunn strikeout.

My hope is that the Mariners will bring him in to help us forget about the Justin Smoak – Cliff Lee trade. Napoli would be able to play first base full time and would give us a much needed right handed power hitter in our lineup.

I can already hear “fear the beard” chants at Safeco and I don’t know about you but I am looking for any excuse to wear my Mariners beard hat.


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  • tedsfrozenhead

    I think we need to give Smoak 1 more season to pull it together and play a consistent season. As you stated, Napoli pulled his act together in September, to sign him would just be giving us more of what Smoak has been giving us.

    • Dan Shearer

      For sure. If Smoak would give us a little more consistency with his bat through the summer months I would love having him. He is a good defensive first basemen.

  • maqman

    1B isn’t presently a major hole in the team and they have enough of them to fill already. This will be even more certain if they resign Morales, as I expect them to do. If they don’t bring back Morales then a case could be made for him as DH/ and backup 1B and catcher, which would add value.

    BTW Kendrys Morales has the 7th best OPS (1.100) against 95+ mph heaters, better than 9th place Mike Trout (1.020) and 10th place Carlos Beltran (1.003) according to Peter Gammons at Gammons Daily

    • Dan Shearer

      What happens now with Kendrys declining? Nelson Cruz anyone??

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  • Sam S

    Outfield, outfield, outfield. That’s what I want the M’s to concentrate on. I’d rather take my chances with Smoak and focus on the grass, the grass, the grass. Besides, we already have a beardo (bearded weirdo) in Ackley, haha.

    • Dan Shearer

      Ackleys beard < Napolis beard! Lol

  • Robert Muldhoon

    Dan Shearer you are a pin head. Why in he11 would you go spend 15/18 million a year at 1B when we have HUGE and more pressing need in at least 2 outfielders, at least 1 SP, at least 2 BP guys, a backup catcher and a backup infielder. You cannot be a columnist/blogger if you have no objectivity. Your hate for Smoak reaks off the page.

    • Dan Shearer

      My frustration with Smoak will not end because I know he will be a different player outside of Seattle. He is going to be good, but Z won’t continue to be patient with anyone on this roster because of his job status. I am well aware there are more pressing needs on this roster. I am a fan who wants a player like Napoli in an M’s uniform. CF and LF as well as our rotation will be addressed before anything else. Check my earlier posts for my thoughts on the Mariners needs.