Free agent catcher Dioner Navarro has agreed to sign a two-year, $8 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal is pending a physical with the money breakdown being $3 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015.
Navarro, 29, is coming off easily the best offensive season of his career. He hit .300/.365/.492 (132 OPS+) with seven doubles and 13 homers in just 266 plate appearances for the Cubs, as he backed up Welington Castillo. He even came through with one of the most unlikely three-homer games in recent memory.
It appears that Navarro has parlayed his big season into a starting gig. Yes, J.P. Arencibia hit 21 homers, but he batted a paltry .194/.227/.365 with 148 strikeouts -- against 18 walks -- in 497 plate appearances. It's possible Arencibia is non-tendered Monday or eventually traded, but the smart money is on Navarro heading into next season as the Blue Jays' primary starter behind the plate.
Navarro is familiar with the AL East, he was debuted with the Yankees in 2004 and spent five seasons with the Rays -- where he hit .243/.300/.352 and made one All-Star team.