MLB Rumors: AL East Rivals Contending For Mike Napoli

By Ryan Gaydos
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will have to try the free agent market to get some catching help. The Red Sox do not need it more than the Yankees because Boston still has Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross all on the roster. The Yankees’ 2012 catcher Russell Martin hit free agency and the market for him is starting to heat up. Both teams are starting to turn to former Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli.

For the Yankees, both Martin and Napoli are great uses against left-handed pitching. However, Martin’s numbers capsized a bit last season. Martin hit .211 but also saw his power numbers surge hitting 21 home runs and 53 RBI. Martin is currently being pursued by a few teams. Napoli is expected to be pursued by more teams outside the Yankees and Rangers. Napoli batted .227/.343/.496 in just 108 games for the Rangers in 2012. He hit 24 home runs and 56 RBI.

Napoli is more than likely better suited for the Yankees since it does not look like they will have a catching prospect in their farm system play in the majors for a little while longer. However, the Red Sox are said to be pushing hard for him looking to not only use Napoli as a catcher but split time at first base as well.

Another team interested in Napoli are the Seattle Mariners but if Napoli gets a big offer from either AL East team, the Mariners will more than likely back off their pursuit of him.

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