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.
After dealing Miguel Montero to the Cubs in December, the Diamondbacks currently project to go with a combination of Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez behind the plate. Who, you might ask? Exactly. With that in mind, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears that the Diamondbacks have asked the Cubs about Welington Castillo and the Blue Jays about Dioner Navarro. However, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart says the club isn’t making much progress in trade talks.
“We’ve not made a whole lot of headway in that area yet,” Stewart said. “Without really giving up something that’s going to cost us a player that we don’t want to give away, we don’t have a whole lot of motion yet.”
With an obvious need behind the plate, the Diamondbacks don’t have much leverage at the moment, so Stewart says that teams are asking for their “top guys” — meaning top prospects — in return. He’s not willing to budge right now.
Gosewisch, 31, owns a .213/.225/.287 batting line over 55 games in the majors. Hernandez, 21, was selected from the Rays in the Rule 5 Draft in December and batted .249/.301/.401 with nine home runs and 63 RBI over 94 games last season in A-ball. Barring any changes in the coming days, they’ll have to hope that the rest of their lineup makes up for what could be the weakest catching tandem in the majors.
Not surprisingly Toronto is shopping Dioner Navarro after signing Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract to replace him at catcher and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays “are drawing interest.”
It makes sense, because Navarro is a veteran catcher with a reasonable $5 million salary for 2015 and hit .274 with 12 homers and a .712 OPS in 139 games this season. He’d be an upgrade behind the plate for plenty of teams and it seems unlikely that the Blue Jays would want a $5 million backup, so expect a deal to get done.