Arizona needs catching help and Dioner Navarro wants to be traded away from Toronto after being pushed to the bench by Russell Martin, so why isn’t there a natural fit between the two teams?
Navarro is owed $5 million this season and Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com:
We can’t take on another $5 million, so that’s not going to work for us. The money doesn’t fit.
Tuffy Gosewisch is slated to be the Diamondbacks’ starting catcher, with either Gerald Laird or Blake Lalli backing him up. FanGraphs rated that group as the worst catching situation in all of baseball, so if the Diamondbacks aren’t willing to spend another $5 million to add a solid, readily available veteran like Navarro that says a lot about their expectations this year.
As soon as the Blue Jays signed Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million deal it seemed obvious that they’d try to find a new home for last year’s starting catcher, Dioner Navarro.
It hasn’t happened yet and the Blue Jays claim they’re willing to go forward with Navarro in a backup role, but the 31-year-old switch-hitter revealed to reporters today that he requested a trade “right away” in the wake of the Martin signing and is “disappointed” a deal hasn’t happened yet.
Navarro went on to say the right things about playing hard for the Blue Jays if they don’t trade him, but clearly he wants to go somewhere he can start regularly and plenty of teams could use him in a bigger role than he’ll receive with Martin getting top billing in Toronto.
Navarro hit .274 with 12 homers and a .712 OPS in 139 games last season and is owed $5 million for 2015.
UPDATE: Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports that the Blue Jays and Tigers haven’t discussed Navarro. It appears that the possibility has been discussed internally with the Tigers, but no trade talks have occurred yet.
1:20 p.m. ET: With designated hitter Victor Martinez needing knee surgery and catcher Alex Avila a question mark due to concussions, the Tigers could be in the market for some catching/DH depth.
And according to Jeff Blair of Toronto Sportsnet they’ve “had discussions” with the Blue Jays about acquiring Dioner Navarro, who started last season and is now in a backup role thanks to the signing of Russell Martin.
Navarro hit .274 with 12 homers and a .712 OPS in 139 games last season and the switch-hitter is owed $5 million for 2015. Blair writes that the Blue Jays want pitching in return for the 31-year-old catcher.