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.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.