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Mike Napoli free agency: Orioles, Mariners interested in 1B

Mike Napoli is already drawing interest from several teams at the outset of free agency.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

With free agency having just begun, several teams are already interested in free agent first baseman Mike Napoli, reports Jen Royle of the Boston Herald.

While the Red Sox have shown an interest in retaining him, the division rival Baltimore Orioles may look to steal him away from Boston and are expected to make a strong run. While first base is obviously occupied by Chris Davis in Baltimore, the team struggled to find a consistent designated hitter in 2013. The Orioles used 16 players as a designated hitter, with Danny Valencia's 38 games representing the most time at the position.

In addition to the Orioles, the Seattle Mariners could make a run at Napoli. Despite being one of the most heavily rumored possible destinations for Jacoby Ellsbury, Seattle believes right-handed power is their biggest need. With Kendrys Morales hitting the free agent market, the Mariners could also use a first baseman.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox are likely still favorites to keep Napoli on board. After failing to sign Cuban sensation Jose Abreu, Boston is lacking a first baseman. Napoli already knows the franchise and helped the team win a World Series in 2013.

Napoli, 31, hit .259 with an 842 OPS and 23 home runs in 2013 for the Red Sox.

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