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.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.