Rafael Martin Rumors

Mike Napoli Rumors: Monday

Free agent catcher Mike Napoli met with Boston executives over the weekend, though the Red Sox don't appear to have extended him a formal offer. Here are today’s Napoli-related rumors, with the most recent updates at the top:

  • Napoli and agent Brian Grieper are scheduled to meet with the Rangers this week, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports. The meeting will likely take place on Wednesday.
  • The Mariners seek offense, experience and leadership and may be the best bet to offer Napoli the four-year deal he wants, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Mariners, who finished last in the American League in runs scored again, will almost certainly add other hitters, according to Rosenthal. 
  • Napoli appears to be the top target of the Red Sox, ahead of Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche and others, Rosenthal writes.
  • While the Rangers want Napoli back, “they want him to return on their terms” in the words of one person. Rosenthal suggests this means the Rangers wouldn’t go beyond three years for the right-handed hitter.
  • The Yankees still figure to re-sign Russell Martin, another free agent backstop.

Market For Russell Martin Intensifying

The market for Russell Martin is intensifying, with three AL East teams showing varying levels of interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays are all interested in the catcher, who may have other suitors. 

The Mets appeared to have interest, but the chances of Sandy Alderson signing Martin seem slim now that the GM has agreed to sign Ronny Paulino. The Dodgers could re-enter the sweepstakes at some point.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported this week that Martin, a Montreal native, would like to sign with an East Coast team (Twitter link).

Odds & Ends: Thames, Manzella, Royals, Marlins

Links for Friday…

Nationals Sign Rafael Martin

Washington has purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Rafael Martin from his Mexican League team, Saltillo.  ESPN's Jorge Arangure was the first to break the news (via Twitter), and said the Nationals "agreed to terms" with Martin for a deal worth $450K a "couple weeks ago."  MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweeted that Martin just passed his physical today, which may have been the reason for the delay in announcing the move.

Martin, 26, posted a 4.12 ERA in 63 1/3 innings for Saltillo last season and recorded 65 strikeouts.  Ladson reported that Martin will start the season in Double or Triple-A, and that the Nats see the reliever as a possible set-up man behind Drew Storen.  Ladson also said the Mariners and Yankees had been interested in acquiring Martin.