After losing his job with the Blue Jays in 2015, Dioner Navarro began 2016 with the White Sox. He hit just .210/.267/.339 in 85 games for the South Siders before the Jays brought the catcher back in a late-August trade. Navarro, who had a career year as Toronto's backstop in 2014, was ineffective in his return north of the border, hitting .182/.250/.182 in limited action. His 21.3 percent strikeout rate was far and away the worst of his 12-year career, and the veteran's power numbers sunk to their lowest point since 2010. A major part of Navarro's problem was an inability to sit back on pitches, as he went just 18-for-135 (.133) against the off-speed stuff. It's an adjustment an experienced big leaguer should be able to make, but he obviously struggled finding a rhythm at the dish in 2016. At this point in his career, he is likely to remain a backup in 2017, regardless of where he ends up after hitting the open market again during the winter.
Navarro will be the primary catcher on days Marco Estrada starts on the hill, MLB.com reports. Last season, when Navarro started 34 games behind the plate, he served as Estrada's personal catcher. He'll once again assume that role now that he's returned to the team. "Hell get playing time," manager John Gibbons said. "[Russell Martin] is our guy, but he'll be able to spell Russ here or there. ...He'll catch Marco some. We'll see how that develops some." Navarro has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .210 with six homers and 32 RBI over 85 games for the White Sox.
Navarro is expected to join the Blue Jays on Monday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet reports. Navarro was dealt to the Blue Jays on Friday, coming over from the White Sox in exchange for Colton Turner. Upon joining the big league club, Navarro is expected to serve as the top backup to Russell Martin, likely seeing most of his time against left-handers.
Navarro was traded to the Blue Jays on Friday in exchange for Colton Turner. Navarro will return to the Blue Jays' organization, with whom he spent the 2014-15 seasons, after a disappointing run with the White Sox (.210/.267/.339). A .266/.330/.436 career hitter against left-handed pitching, he figures to play primarily against southpaws while serving as the top backup to Russell Martin.
Navarro went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer -- his sixth of the year -- and a walk against the Phillies on Wednesday. The well-traveled backstop hadn't homered since Independence Day and holds just a .213 average on the season, so it's hard to imagine anyone owning him outside of two-catcher and/or AL-only formats.
Navarro is out of the lineup Sunday against the Athletics. Navvaro has started three of the last four behind the plate, but he'll get a routine day of rest Sunday. Omar Narvaez will man the backstop in his stead.