Hey, how’d this get here???
I don’t usually bother putting together a full post about every little rumour that doesn’t directly involve the Jays– though that’s quite possibly a lie, actually– which is why it’s fortunate tonight, I suppose, that MLBTR has done me the favour of throwing the Jays’ name into the mix in their post about this Peter Gammons tweet that you may have noticed I retweeted this afternoon:
Told Dioner Navarro is moving to resolution, Boston not in pursuit
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) November 25, 2013
The Blue Jays have been said to be in the market for a catcher, as have the Twins, in light of the news that Joe Mauer’s days behind the plate are done and he will be a first baseman going forward. The Rays don’t figure to be in the mix after reaching an agreement with Jose Molina over the weekend.
We know that the Rockies have been looking for a catcher as well, and surely there are other clubs who could be in the market as well (what am I, Google?), but it certainly could be the Jays who are the club that’s closing in his signature. I mean… possibly? Right?
And if so, that’s pretty OK.
No, really! Here’s what I wrote back in early October, as I was learning to stop worrying and love the free agent market for catching:
How about, then, someone to pair with Josh Thole, who we know can catch Dickey and is also still under contract?
Pierzynski still technically works in that scenario, though it would mean always having his bat in the lineup against left-handers. On the other hand, Dioner Navarro has absolutely mashed left-handed pitching over the last three years, albeit in a small sample (.392 wOBA over 125 plate appearances), and has done well in the split in the minors over that time as well, and in his career as a big leaguer, though the bulk of those plate appearances are from 2009 and before.
Navarro is a switch hitter, too, so you wouldn’t necessarily be committing to Thole as the more active half of a lefty-righty platoon. However, in Navarro’s last 416 plate appearances against right-handed pitching his wOBA is just .305. His on-base is .311, though, which by the standard we’ve grown accustomed to around here is downright decent. The high OBP watermark for Arencibia in his three years is .282, and over that span against right-handers it’s a pitiful .257.
Holy shit, I think I actually just talked myself into Navarro– sad as it is to think that a .305 wOBA and .311 on-base against right-handers is, like, a vast improvement.
That, of course, says nothing of his defence, which… is probably for the best. In his final Fogging The Measure post for Getting Blanked, back at the end of August, Matt Klaassen’s catcher defence rankings (which don’t include pitch framing, at which Navarro doesn’t seem to rate particularly well at either) had him very near the bottom, at three runs below average– though he was only slightly behind Josh Thole, while clearly better than Arencibia.
And… uh… that is, after all, the whole point, isn’t it?
So… there’s that. (There’s also this tweet purportedly from a reporter in the Dominican that says the Jays have offered four prospects for Jeff Samardzija, but let’s not even bother with that one, OK?)