Blue Jays sign Dioner Navarro to two-year deal

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Dioner Navarro has agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Blue Jays, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Navarro went from 24-year-old All-Star in 2008 to little-used, unproductive backup from 2010-2012, but the switch-hitting catcher put together a big season in a part-time role for the Cubs this year. He hit .300 with 13 homers and an .856 OPS in 89 games, compared to hitting a combined .215 with 16 homers and a .594 OPS in 251 games during the previous four seasons.

Rosenthal reports that Navarro “could grow into an everyday role” in Toronto, with Josh Thole backing him up and catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, which suggests 2013 starter J.P. Arencibia will be traded after a horrendous season in which he hit .194 with a ghastly .227 on-base percentage and .592 OPS despite 21 homers.

Denard Span likely to retire from baseball

Denard Span
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Veteran outfielder Denard Span is likely to hang up his spikes, per Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune. Span told Reusse, “I haven’t announced it officially, but maybe this is it.”

Span says he received several minor league contract offers, but added that “they didn’t seem right as far as having a chance to move up to the big club if I was doing well in Triple-A.”

The 38-year-old hasn’t played in the majors since 2018 with the Rays and Mariners. Over 501 combined plate appearances, he hit .261/.341/.419 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI.  The Mariners did not pick up his 2019 option and he didn’t end up playing anywhere last year, even in the minors.

If this is it for Span, he would wrap up an 11-year major league career during which he suited up for five different teams: the Twins, the Nationals, and Giants as well as the Rays and Mariners. Notably, he accrued 1,498 hits, scored 773 runs, and stole 185 bases.