Daniel Nava won a major-league job out of spring training, but he ended up making three trips to the DL, twice for hamstring issues and later for a back strain. He fared well when on the field, hitting .301/.393/.421 in 214 plate appearances, good for a 119 wRC+. That line was propped up a bit by a .357 BABIP (.325 for his career), but also could be attributed in part to a more pull-heavy approach. He pulled 44.2 percent of his batted balls last year, up significantly from his career average of 35.5 percent. Nava has a chance to provide some value to a team as a fourth or fifth outfielder, though his upside for fantasy owners is limited, as he's unlikely to get enough at-bats to be relevant in most formats. If the playing time opens up for him, he has a chance at contributing a solid batting average, but he's already 34 years old and has never had much power or speed.
Nava may agree to a contract with the Pirates in the coming days, Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Nava was invited to attend the Pirates' spring training as a non-roster invitee. However, he suffered a back injury that ended up requiring surgery, which led to him being released by the team Tuesday. Despite being cut from the team, Pittsburgh hopes to sign Nava in the near future so that he can provide depth in the outfield and at first base when he returns to full health.
Nava (back) was released by the Pirates on Monday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports. Nava underwent back surgery at the latter end of February and was unable to appear in any spring games for Pittsburgh. It's estimated that Nava will need 10-to-12 weeks to return to full health, which would project to him being available around the middle of May. If healthy, Nava could provide a club with organizational depth, as he hit .301/.393/.421 over 80 games with the Phillies last season.
Nava (back) underwent a microdiscectomy Tuesday in Arizona and has been ruled out for 10-to-12 weeks, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Though he inked a minor-league contract with the Pirates earlier in the winter, Nava was expected to vie for a platoon role in the corner outfield in spring training, but ongoing back discomfort prevented him from ever entering the competition. With the 35-year-old now expected to be sidelined through at least mid-May following the back surgery, there's a decent chance the Pirates cut bait with him entirely, given his status as a non-roster player.
Nava (back) is still hindered by his back discomfort during the early stages of spring training, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The 35-year-old missed time in the latter part of 2017 due to a lower back strain, and it doesn't seem like the issue is completely in the rear-view mirror. This could make it problematic for the non-roster invitee to crack the Opening Day roster, especially with Pittsburgh trading for outfielder Bryce Brentz on Tuesday. It's unclear how much this issue will hold Nava back during spring training, but things should become clearer as Grapefruit League play rolls along.
Nava (back) signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates on Tuesday which includes an invitation to spring training, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The switch-hitting Nava could be part of a platoon in left field if he wins a job out of camp. The veteran outfielder hit for a surprisingly strong .301/.393/.421 line in 214 plate appearances with Philadelphia last year before gong down with a lower back strain. That line was backed by an unsustainable .357 BABIP, but even coming somewhat close to those numbers would make Nava a valuable contributor off the bench in Pittsburgh.