Rays retain Navarro despite Shoppach trade

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Dioner Navarro was thought to be a likely non-tender candidate following the Rays’ trade for Kelly Shoppach, but instead the two sides have agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract that will keep him in Tampa Bay.
It remains to be seen how the Rays plan to divvy up the playing behind the plate after Navarro started at least 100 games in each of the past three seasons, but Shoppach’s presence and likely higher salary make it clear that the incumbent won’t approach triple-digit starts in 2010 after batting just .218/.261/.322 for the worst OPS of any AL hitter with 400-plus plate appearances.
Navarro is a switch-hitter who’s been significantly better against right-handers and Shoppach is a right-handed hitter who’s been significantly better against left-handers, so they would form a pretty nifty platoon. However, given that Shoppach’s career OPS tops Navarro’s lifetime mark by nearly 100 points it seems likely the Rays will give the newcomer every opportunity to claim primary catching duties, potentially making Navarro an expensive backup or trade bait.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.