Dioner Navarro was an All-Star for the Rays in 2008, but since then he’s hit .218, .194, and .193 in three seasons and today he agreed to a minor-league contract with the Reds.
Cincinnati lost last year’s starting catcher, Ramon Hernandez, to the Rockies in free agency, but backup Ryan Hanigan has long been ready for a bigger role and the Reds have 23-year-old top prospect Devin Mesoraco waiting in the wings at Triple-A.
In other words, Navarro is little more than organizational depth. He’ll compete to back up Hanigan if the Reds decide Mesoraco needs some more seasoning in the minors, and if not Navarro could wind up as the starter at Triple-A himself.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.