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.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?