Mariners miss on Mike Napoli

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

The Boston Red Sox signed Mike Napoli to a three-year contract in a blow to the Seattle Mariners' offseason plans.

The Boston Red Sox signed free agent Mike Napoli to a three-year, $39 million contract on Monday, and the decision resonated in Seattle after the Mariners targeted the slugger this offseason. Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik hinted to the Seattle Times on Monday that there was disappointment the catcher and first baseman did not land in the Pacific Northwest.

"We liked Napoli," Zduriencik said in a late-afternoon discussion with Seattle media members. "Congratulations to him on his contract and to Boston for getting him. I think that Napoli brought things to the table that we liked. He's an offensive guy, a right-handed guy. A veteran guy. But, he's no longer available."

Zduriencik said that he believed that the first baseman came to a decision so quickly because the Red Sox's offer matched his expectations of a new contract.

With the Texas Rangers last year, Napoli split time at catcher and first base, though he is expected to play only first with Boston. He hit .227 last year to go with 24 home runs and 56 RBI.

Napoli visited Seattle two weeks ago, according to the Seattle Times, and with him off the market the Mariners are still looking for a first baseman. They will also be looking to improve the outfield and have been rumored in trades for Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon and slugger Billy Butler.

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