Toronto Blue Jays Murky Situation With Dioner Navarro


Toronto Blue Jays Murky Situation With Dioner Navarro

What a mess. This is honestly the only way that this situation can be best described and it is messy for a couple of reasons. The first reason is obvious, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed all-star catcher Russell Martin, who by all accounts is a major upgrade defensively at this position. The second reason is that Navarro was one of the best players on the team last year and he really seemed to fit into the clubhouse and he brings good energy to the park every day. He is well liked and it’s not hard to see why, he’s been our version of the ‘Panda’ for the Blue Jays and their fans.

“I did ask for a trade right away. Up to today that’s still my goal. I would like to go to a place where I can play every day. I know I can do it.” – Dioner Navarro

The fact remains that Navarro probably has more value on the trade market then he ever has in his entire career. Navarro is a 5’8 220 pound 30-year-old catcher who is a career .255 hitter (used mostly as a part-time catcher/DH), yet in 2014 he hit .274 with more RBI and Extra Base hits than he has in any other year in his career. This goes to show that his stock is probably at the highest value it will ever be and coming into an off-season that saw questions in the starting rotation, bullpen, OF and 2B, it is almost inexcusable for the Jays not to get some value from him.

The Jays and general manager Alex Anthopoulos have had a good off-season acquiring Donaldson, Martin, Saunders, Estrada and now Viciedo. But seeing as Estrada and Saunders are the only players to fit the areas of need, this can’t be classified as an A+ off-season and more of a B-, due in large part to the quality of players that Martin and Donaldson are.

Earlier this week the Jays got a major scare after Michael Saunders stepped on an outfield sprinkler and was originally reported to be out until the All-Star break. This has since been turned back to now being out until early-mid April and may only miss a few games. This was the scare that led to the Dayan Viciedo signing, which is a rather huge pick-up.

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  • My worry is this; earlier in the off-season the Jays passed up on signing Ichiro and spun the tires on Axford, K-rod and others. When on Sportsnet Radio a couple weeks back, AA had said he had roughly $5-7 million left to spend when he was asked, but it has been reported the Jays are fresh out of cash on many fronts. Given our areas of need and the fact Navarro makes 5 million a year, I was extremely hoping for the Jays to have contracts potentially in place for Ichiro and Axford so that Navarro could be dished for a cheap prospect on a team that needs him. This would free up most of his $5 million dollar contract and this money could have then been used to sign Ichiro ($2 Mill) and Axford ($2.6 Mill). These two signings would shore up the outfield in case of injury or below average play from our rookie CF and we’d have a closer with experience who can then compete with Cecil, Sanchez and Norris in the pen, letting the best man take it.

    But alas, here we are and the Jays need some help and it appears that internal help will have to do at the moment. That is until a potential contending team has an injury and is forced to look at a deal for Navarro. Perhaps then he may get some value in a trade, but at this point it just seems like a mess. Navarro showed that he is capable of still playing at a high level but now with Edwin, Smoak, Viciedo, Navarro, Valencia and seemingly other every-day players stepping into the fold of potential DH/1B options, there just does not seem to be enough at-bats to go around for Navarro to really be effective and get in a rhythm. So a $5 million dollar capable, switch-hitting catcher is relegated to the bench… does this make sense to anyone?  Because it really does not to me. Just seems like a waste of cash that could be allocated elsewhere on a team with limited payroll left.  AA has said that if anything is to happen odds are it happens near the end of training camp.  Here’s hoping there is still some potential value after an injury occurs elsewhere, but until then, Dioner appears to be a Blue Jay now and for a while.