Catching-starved Diamondbacks deem Blue Jays backup Dioner Navarro too expensive

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Arizona needs catching help and Dioner Navarro wants to be traded away from Toronto after being pushed to the bench by Russell Martin, so why isn’t there a natural fit between the two teams?

Navarro is owed $5 million this season and Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com:

We can’t take on another $5 million, so that’s not going to work for us. The money doesn’t fit.

Tuffy Gosewisch is slated to be the Diamondbacks’ starting catcher, with either Gerald Laird or Blake Lalli backing him up. FanGraphs rated that group as the worst catching situation in all of baseball, so if the Diamondbacks aren’t willing to spend another $5 million to add a solid, readily available veteran like Navarro that says a lot about their expectations this year.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.