Daniel Nava hoped to rebound in 2016 following a disastrous 2015 season where he hit .194 in 60 games with Tampa Bay and Boston. While his 2016 season with the Angels and Royals was better, it wasn't nearly the comeback season he would have hoped. He slashed .223/.297/.292 with one home run, 13 RBI and seven extra base hits. He struggled to draw walks, as his walk rate dropped to a career-low 6.8 percent, far below his 12 percent walk rate in 2015. His isolated power also dropped to .069 and he struck out 20.3 percent of the time, which does not bode well for increasing pinch-hit opportunities. A former .300 hitter for the Red Sox in 2013, he'll probably find a minor league contract and try to earn a big league spot due to his defensive versatility and past offensive successes, though he'll be 34 in February.
Nava went 4-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in the Phillies 6-5 win over the Red Sox on Sunday. Nava, who signed a minor league deal this winter, is competing with Chris Coghlan, Cameron Perkins and Brock Stassi for a bench job with the Phillies. He's made a solid impression with 10 hits in 21 at-bats this spring.
The Phillies have signed Nava to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Nava can earn $1.35 million if he makes it to the majors in 2017. He has a decent shot of earning a bench spot with the Phillies as they currently lack veteran depth in the outfield and behind Tommy Joseph at first base. Nava hit .223/.297/.292 with a home run in 130 at-bats between the Angels and Royals last season.
Nava became a free agent after declining his outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. Nava batted just .223 between brief stints with the Angels and Royals this season, so it comes as no surprise that the Royals brass didn't deem him worthy of a 40-man roster spot. The 33-year-old does have nice defensive versatility in the outfield, but his age and his propensity to strike out will make it tough for him to garner consideration at the major league level.
Nava was called up by the Royals on Tuesday. Nava has steadily regressed at the plate since his strong 2013 campaign with Boston, culminating in a .235/.309/.303 showing with the Angels this season prior to his release. He can switch hit but is limited defensively and the at-bats figure to be few and far between over the remaining weeks.
Nava was placed on the Temporarily Inactive List on Saturday, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Nava and his wife are expecting their child this weekend, so the Royals deactivated him in order to let him spend time with his family. He will likely rejoin the Royals at some point next week.