Awww, were you actually worried that the Jays didn’t see the complete and utter uselessness of J.P. Arencibia staring them in the face and swinging through pitch after bloody blockable-by-anyone-but-him pitch all summer?

Yeah… they noticed.

To wit:

“Dioner is served!” to quote Twitter’s @TheMattRoss.

Jon Heyman tweets the details, telling us that the commitment from the Jays just $8-million over two years– and if you think about it, with Arencibia projected at $2.8-million this year, and another year of full-time duty likely to push him to the $5-million range during his next trip through arbitration, the money is a wash.

So… that’ll do! And holy shit, the day is just getting started. After all, with 5 PM midnight ET being the deadline for clubs to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible and pre-arb players, among whom Arencibia is counted, it would seem a certainty that another shoe is yet to drop here. There would be no point in the club paying ol’ J.P.A. what he will likely earn next year, so he’s almost certain to be dealt somewhere before the deadline, unless the Jays find absolutely no takers, in which case he’ll likely be non-tendered and join the grim list of remaining free agent catchers.

Oh, and there are sure to be other delights, as our pal Drew Fairservice notes:

Ahhh, good times. But OK, let’s move on, you say? We got our fill of J.P. bashing all effing summer, you say? Just what are the Jays getting in Navarro, you ask? Well…

Actually that grim free agent catching market is worse off for his departure. Especially if you want to believe Navarro is more the guy that the Cubs saw for 89 games last year, or even the one the Reds got a brief taste of for 24 in 2012, and not the sub-replacement level sludge he had turned into for the three seasons prior, following a solid 2008 in Tampa.

Ignoring the less-recent past on Navarro, and his many warts (not literal ones– y’know, I assume) is actually quite an eye-popping experience: the Jays just got a switch-hitting catcher whose 13.7% career strikeout rate will feel like a gift from the gods compared to the 29.8% of plate appearances Arencibia struck out in last year (no, really). Navarro put up a .300/.365/.492 slash line in 2013, which was good for a wOBA of .374, and a wRC+ of 136 in 266 plate appearances.

Here’s the complete list of Blue Jays hitters with a higher wRC+ this past season: Edwin Encarnacion.

Which isn’t at all to say that the Jays have just signed someone better than Jose Bautista, whose 134 wRC+ came about in a sample of more than double the plate appearances Navarro had. In fact, there isn’t a whole lot in his past to make anyone believe that what Navarro did last season was anything but a total outlier. And, if you dare look at his combined numbers for 2009 through 2011, they’re just as pitiful as what Arencibia did last year.

So let’s maybe not jump for joy here, but there still is a whole lot to like here– especially on a market where Carlos Ruiz cost an extra year and $18-million additional dollars.

This is how I talked myself into Navarro back when the off-season began:

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.

Of course, all of that, and everything I’ve addressed so far, is entirely about offence. Defensively isn’t exactly where our new catcher shines– not by reputation, and not by the numbers. In fact, I’m not even entirely sure he’s an upgrade on Arencibia, sadly– especially if we worry about pitch framing stats. If you look at the pitch framing numbers at Stat Corner, Arencibia was one of the ten best in the game (if you can believe it), while Navarro is ranked just barely in the bottom third (though on a per-game basis he’s closer to the middle, and his actual number is more average-ish than it is close to the guys way at the bottom of the spectrum– among them two other potential Jays targets, the aforementioned A.J. Pierzynski, as well as John Buck).

It’s not much better for him in terms of other defensive metrics. Navarro was generally ahead of Arencibia in those in 2013, but you also have to consider that Arencibia played more than twice the number of innings behind the plate. Matt Klaassen’s final Fogging The Measure composite catcher defence rankings for Getting Blanked place Navarro 89th and Arencibia 98th, however, Navarro is actually much closer to the middle of the pack than it seems. The difference between the two spots in terms of the total number of runs below average is four, but guys who are four off of Navarro’s total in the other direction rank around the top 30– in other words, the quality of the guys behind him drops precipitously, and Arencibia is somewhere a whole lot closer to the bottom of that canyon. But, again, with the kind of playing time that J.P.A. got, you’d have to figure Navarro would have ended up right there with him.

Navarro’s DRS last season was one, which is about where it has been for the past few– albeit in samples that don’t tell us a whole lot– while Arencibia’s was two, which again doesn’t suggest a massive difference given the playing time. Same story at Baseball Reference, where the defensive numbers are close (but in Arencibia’s favour), as they are according to the metrics used by FanGraphs’ WAR calculation as well– though in that one, at least, Navarro’s per-game numbers look a little better. And, by some accounts, pitchers do enjoy throwing to him.

Still, though, this obviously isn’t the catch-and-throw guy that so many fans had been pining for– not that I think that stuff was really all that well thought-out in the first place. But– here’s a thought– maybe they’re not even done with the position! Navarro’s platoon splits, as I noted above, have been pretty stunning against left-handed pitching, albeit in quite a small sample. They reflect a new reality for him, that could bode well for some kind of partnership with Adam Lind, however his much-more-compelling career numbers don’t make quite the same case– he’s got just a .339 wOBA against lefties in total.


Mike Wilner has certainly been questioning the worthiness of Navarro’s ability to be a full-time guy, while, Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets some comps on the deal, which definitely do look a liiiiiitle bit backup-y. Indeed, it would be a pretty large gamble to hand over the full-time job to someone based on a very good 266 PA sample, especially one whose games played totals (Majors and minors combined) over the last four years are 91, 69, 86, and 89.

On the other hand, I suspect (based, of course, on absolutely nothing) that’s wishful thinking and the Jays indeed are rolling the dice knowing they can’t do much worse here than their last insufferable roll. The catching market is what it is (read: rancid), and even if, at the very worst, it means a little more Josh Thole in our lives, whatever happens from here is going to be better than what we saw this season behind the plate. Maybe not by much– and maybe not better, even, than what a turned-around Arencibia might possibly do– but better. And if this is just a starting point, and the club can find a way to improve even more behind the plate, then Navarro is still a useful piece– he can be a willing backup, and at least has utility as Lind’s caddy, which are two things Arencibia can’t claim.

Regardless, let’s not lose sight of the fact that this year, in half the playing time, Navarro was worth 1.9 more wins than Arencibia by Baseball Reference, and 2.3 more by FanGraphs. Those are some tasty improvements– exactly the kind we’ve said all along that the Jays need– even if a lot is riding on a bat that’s never been good enough to sustain them. All things being equal– and, in terms of money, apparently they are– in the worst case scenario the Jays are better off today than they were yesterday. I think. But shit, even if they’re not, it’s only barely– and if Anthopoulos can actually move J.P. for something, maybe even more than that. And since keeping Arencibia was an untenable proposition anyway, what’s to dislike here, really? The fact that Navarro kind of sucks except when he’s having a ridiculous outlier season at the plate? Well, yeah. He’s a non-elite big league catcher. Of course he kind of sucks. I’ll still take the walks and contact, thanks. And the hope for not too much regression, as opposed to dreaming on some big magical dose of regression back to merely terrible that, this summer, simply never came.

Comments (252)

  1. Peace out JP! Sucka!

  2. Fuck yes.

  3. Inner cynicism brought on by years of Jays hardship can’t handle/process this news right now.

  4. Is he any good?

  5. Maybe the deal was made soon enough they can deal J.P. for something useful before the tender deadline. I hear Bonifacio’s available. lol

  6. things are going to be ok.

  7. They may still keep JP, not like Navarro has recently fielded a whole season.

    • Not a chance.
      Thole is cheaper, better defensively, bats Lefty, isn’t a dick…..etc

    • No they won`t. Thole is the backup to make sure someone can catch Dickey, because if Navarro cannot, we already know Arencibia will not. He will either be traded or non-tendered. Maybe even placed on waivers and demoted, though that`s a lot of money to have tied up in Buffalo between him and Romero.


  9. Early Christmas for Jays fans! Feliz Navarro!

  10. so, now we have 3 backup/platoon catchers… awesome!

  11. So should the DJF headline be
    “Dioner is served” (saw this one on Twitter)
    or my own selection “On Dasher! On Dancer! On DIONER & Blitzen”

    … it is seasonal after all.

  12. not as hunky, but will applaud his face hanging on a banner outside the Dome.

  13. Yes please.

  14. Navarro had a monster year last season and at 2 years is a great pickup. I don’t think he’d normally bring this sort of jubilation – but hell yes.

  15. Any guesses on money? Hopefully it’s less than $8M for the two years, maybe with a team option for the 3rd year?

    Navarrao was pretty awful for three seasons before last year’s resurgence, but he’ll be worth more than JP s long as the contract is reasonable.

  16. Cautiously optimistic. Put up good numbers (and not from 8-hole in front of SP) last year. Former good prospect, some good years early in career. Late bloomer, perhaps? Most importantly, now allows more focused approach in rest of FA/trade market.

  17. Awaiting some really shitty JPA Tweets in the near future.

    • Yeah I just checked his Twitter Feed. I think it was the right one and there was nothing since September. I imagine that will shortly change…

  18. Fuckin’ rights!

    Thole career +wRC vs RHP: 86
    Navarro career +wRC vs LHP: 108

    That’ll fuckin’ do after last year.

  19. JP flailing helplessly was probably the lowlight of 2013. You knew before each of his at bats that the other team had a close to 80% chance of an outcome that got them closer to victory. He’ll not be missed.

  20. So who’s our weak link batter now? Goins until something happens at 2B? Not a bad batting lineup. Not bad at all.

  21. Welly welly well well. Good going. It’s not that he’s been consistently wonderful but he is not JPA and that right there is an excellent start.

  22. Wow…2 years 8 mil for Navarro. If he and JP regress closer to their true talent levels its hard to see the value in the extra cost. All told, the Jays will be paying 5.5 mil for replacement level catching next year. AA made a mess of that position.

  23. I hope J.P. gets traded to New York to backup d’Arnaud so that the circle of life can finally be complete.

  24. i don’t hate this, but i don’t get it.

    are there clubhouse reasons jpa is out of favour?

    navarro played 4 years in the al east. and he was WORSE THAN THOLE in all but one of them.

    • Jpa had a historically bad season
      He stinks

      • Any new catcher is an upgrade

        • A mitt on a pylon would be a better upgrade behind the plate. And maybe in the batter’s box too.

          • Yes, I don’t the excitement for a second on this deal. I don’t know much about Dioner, but if the word is, he’s just an average defensive catcher, then there is nothing but a backup here.

            I’m no more happy going ahead with Dioner then JPA. I would much rather have worked on getting a weak bat, but a superior defensive catcher. We don’t need hitters at every position. Part of the huge problem with this team was defense.

            How have we made any real upgrade on JPA, other than people hate JPA and they don’t have to look at him anymore?

          • Nailed it.

          • ‘A mitt on a pylon’ has to be the best comment of the day so far, no?

      • Would JP have had a historically poor season if the Jays had anybody else to run out there? He wouldn’t have played near as many games first off and if he had played less games he would have had better stats – maybe even like Navarro (no not likely)!! The Jays had a historically bad season at catcher – not all JPs fault. Consider that JP was run out there over and over instead of Thole and maybe then consider that Thole had an even worse season than JP.

    • After last season JPA couldn’t come back here. No one performed well in ’13 but he had a bad season for the ages and he became the lightning-rod for fan unhappiness and frustration with the team. To bring him back would have been as unfair on him as it would have been hard on us. Navarro had a great season last year but in general hasn’t set the catching world alight. It doesn’t matter. JPA has to go.

      • +1
        If he came back that would make no sense due to his arb money

        • Let’s not forget the “natural leader” stuff and running to management when his widdle feelings were hurt. The guy was a bozo.

    • jpa has had several years in a row of terrible batted ball luck. i haven’t seen any reasonable discussion of how he maintains such a low rate without being 400 lbs and/or having no legs.

      i just think a lot of people are going to be eating their words if that ever even gets close to normalizing.

      • I have shared the same worry. But this is sort of a “must win” (or at least get to the playoffs somehow) season. We can’t hope that JP does better just because we can’t believe anyone is that bad.

      • I think i read somewhere as to why his babip is low. Something to do with his all or nothing approach. Results in popups or extreme power. No inbetween. Kinda like Dunn i would imagine

        • hr are not included in babip, and dunn’s career number is .286. he only really had consistently bad batter ball luck over his last 3 years, and then only in us cellular. and that probably has more to do with him being 400 lbs and having no legs at that point than it did where the balls were going off his bat.

      • After several years, can we really call it bad luck as opposed to general shittiness?

        • i guess if you want to believe that jpa actually has the ability to direct his batted balls into fielders mitts, and chooses to do so willingly as a skill…you could do that.

          • I understand you have a thing for JPA. That’s fine, I’m sure he’ll regress to his career line, which is still not very good.

            The reason why his BABIP is low is because he hits infield pop-ups at a stupid rate. and just cause he get’s homers, doesnt excuse his inability to take a walk.

            He also hits a large amount of balls into the infield, and given he’s not an amazing runner, he’s obviously going to get thrown out alot.

            Do I need to explain more reasons why JPA sucks or do you understand now.

          • Someone alluded to his shitty swing for the fences approach at the plate resulting in weak fly balls and poor contact. That is something I believe in. I don’t particularly ascribe to “bad luck” after 3 seasons. By your logic, any shitty hitter that makes contact would be the victim of bad luck with respect to BABIP.

            • BABIP bad luck may be attributed to the fact he doesn’t hit many line drives, and he’s without a doubt the slowest player on the roster.

            • babip isn’t “my logic” so much as the foundation of a huge portion of advanced stats.

              • Dude did you not read my explanation as to why he has a terrible babip. He’s always going to have a low babip unless he chages his plate discipline, which it’s evident he doesnt want to do.

              • I have no problem with BABIP. My point was that after 3 plus years of consistent poor performance, you cannot logically attribute it to bad BABIP luck.

      • Don’t you have to hit the damn ball before it can be called a batted ball? His strikeout rate is like he closes his eyes when he swings.

  25. Sweet.

  26. As for JP being a dick, I don’t pay too much attention to such shit, and actually thought that most of his Twittering and such was defensible in the name of generating buzz among young people ( yadda, yadda, yadda.) So as we dissect this trade I vote we keep the focus on where it belongs — on the fact that last year JPA was one of the worst baseball players ever to play baseball.

  27. One thing about JP – he didn’t cause all of ’12 and ’13s pitching injuries. Team has a long way to go still.

  28. Everyone should be fully prepared for Arencibia to go Aaron Hill on us. And by that I mean an OPS over .700. Just remember that it doesn’t matter because, as with Hill, it would never have happened here.

  29. What a lovely bit of news on a dreary Monday morning.

  30. Navarro switch hits, which is something

  31. I imagine he’ll take a parting swing at Zaun.
    Zauns safe.

  32. Stoeten you write that JPA is essentially off the team by 5 pm today. Is it not possible even if AA can’t find a trade partner today, he tenders him a contract to find one later in the off-season?

    • That would be a pretty big gamble to take in that JPA’s contract is going to be $2.8M (i think) this season.

  33. I guess if the jay get a top 20 prospect for JPA that would be a small miracle.

  34. Neat article on Fangraphs mentionining Navarro newfound ability to hit after training with Joey Votto prior to 2013:

  35. Don’t love Navarro, but you continue to wait this thing out there’s a good chance you’re left sitting there choosing between JP, a turd off the lower rungs of the FA market, or in a bidding war with three or four other teams for Chris Iannetta or Ryan Hanigan. Makes sense to get this done now, especially considering the money.

  36. I think Strike3bia is gone. However, I figure Navarro is only one half af a platoon. Is the other half Thole? Does he have any options left? Do we sign a second platoon catcher who can catch the knuckleball?

  37. As much as we’ve all been dying for the moment we got to run JP out of town, this isn’t exactly a big win for the Jays. Over Navarro’s ten big league seasons, he’s posted an OPS of .684. JP’s career mark is .666. JP also posted marks of .720 and .710 in 2011 and 2012. Navarro had his best year last year, his walk year, playing in only 89 games. More plate appearances will likely trend towards a regression towards the mean for him. Meanwhile, there is no way JP is as awefull as he was last year. Both are below average defensive catchers.

    While I’m not saying that JP will outdo Navarro, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he did. The team needed to move on from JP, but I’m not sure how much better they got.

    Remember when we let Kelly Johnson go and signed Maicer Izturiz last year? Very similar situation. Izturis was a career reserve with good OBP numbers, Johnson was more power oriented, and was coming off a terrible OBP year. While it was nice to see Johnson go, Izturis struggled in a full time role, and 2B is now considered a position in need of a major upgrade.

    Will Navarro perform like he did last year? I hope so. But chances are, when he plays every day, his weaknesses will be exposed, much like Izturis’ were. People are willing to overlook his flaws because he replaces JP, who we can all agree, is the worst. But, don’t be surprised if Jays fans are calling for his head at the end of this year as well.

    • Other then the big ticket of McCann there was fuckall available.
      And yes JP had to go, if he manages to turn it around elsewher then good for him.
      As he has an aversion to coaching suggestions and criticism of any kind I really don’t see it happening.
      Dude is delusional.

    • These are excellent, well-reasoned points.

      • Saying that JPA has “an aversion to coaching suggestions” is a good point? How the heck does anyone know what he is told and what he listens to? Sometimes guys just aren’t good hitters (JPA) and thus all the SUGGESTIONS in the world don’t do anything

        • JP said as much at one point this year, something to the effect of “the coaches just need to leave him alone” or some shit. I’m too lazy to look for it, but it was something like that.

        • Didn’t the coaches actually say that JP is very coach able?

      • I was referring to Jamin.

  38. how funny will it be when jpa and farrell both come to town and tear apart the jays?

    • at the same time…because you have to presume the bosox are going to pick up jpa asap

      • You are a troll
        The Red Sox have better things to do
        Go away jesuscristo in disguise or OCD troll

    • Navarro maybe an up and down player

      but anyone is better then JPA behind the plate
      Navarro has a 300 plus OBP career mark

      we have enough RBIs guys, we just need guys to get on base and not be rally killers, like JPA was.

  39. *breaks out the champagne*

    No, Navarro isn’t the greatest guy out there that we could have gotten, but he’s at least average and it’s addition by subtraction to get JPA out of there. A win all around, even if Navarro is meh.

    Now, onward to finding a pitcher. I’m fine with bringing back Izturis as the everyday 2B as long as we can find a couple of solid SPs to fill the gaps, so the offense should be OK.

  40. Dumb comment on bluebird banter
    The mindset is: JPA was historically awful in 2013, so there’s absolutely no way they can bring him in 2014, regardless of what the merits of his value might be. Escobar did something stupid, so the Jays couldn’t bring him back, regardless of what the merits of his value might have been.

    by MjwW on 12.02.13 7:50am
    up reply rec flag

  41. Navarro and Thole both wear #30. Bets on who gets it?

  42. This is great. Now all we need to do is trade JP for Felix and a couple of top 100 prospects from the Mariners and the jays are set….where else are they going to get a clutch rbi catcher that cheap!

  43. Good bit of business. I had the impression that Navarro would be getting more than 2/ 9m.

    I can see another move to pick up someone who can catch Dickey and be an upgrade on Thole offensively. I think it would be a huge mistake to depend on Thole for more than 25% of your catcher at bats. Its unlikely that Navarro could handle more than 110 games.

    • Problem is, theres not many catchers out there you can predict are gonna be able to catch dickey. Not many knuckleballers out there to gain expieriance with.

      • I think that a catcher with good receiving skills can figure it, though it may be a steep learning curve in April/May

  44. Sure hope the return on JP + the small sample size of Navarro’s last 350 AB’s are legit otherwise you just got an older version of the bad JP with poorer defense.

    Still the bar for clearing that particular hurdle is rather low. Wonder if they still bring in one more catcher to pair with Navarro.

    • 300 plus CAREEEEEER!!!!! OBP!!!!

      huge upgrade at C if you ask me, not a stud like some, but in this Market, Great Deal.

      • it’s not a great deal, but we are paying him a reasonable price for someone who may hit fairly well. And it’s a 2 year deal so we aren’t tied down or anything.

        • 315 career mark at the C spot…..when the fuck did we have that last…..when i say

          for 1.2mil over what we would have had to pay the strike out king……fuck ya its a great deal.

          plus i am guessing its 2 years with a club options so we can have our Catcher of the Future develop….god i hope he is…..AJ Jimenez….then even better…

    • JP is 27, Navarro is 29. Not like Navarro is ancient.

    • Poorer defense?

  45. Already feeling better
    Joey Bats

    ill be ok with that line up
    now get a least 1 more #2-3 pitcher and it would be a really happy day.

    • what’s with the obession about goins? sign ellis at least. He’ll give you a solid guarenteed 1+ in second.

      • not at all with Goins…..
        what i was saying is i can live with that, go get a SP or 2. Then work on 2b

        we have 2 options to work with there for now.

        • Yeah i guess, right now the lineup is good as in there are now no black holes except for 2nd.

          But if we want near guarenteed playoff caliber, we’ll want to find an upgrade at second.

          Another starting SP is a no brainer as well.

    • 3 giant question marks in that line-up .. Melky, Goins and Dioneer (better then JPA for sure but doesn’t hide other issue) .. + Lind if he hits vs Lefties

      so .. they need to ensure Melky can rebound and find a 2B that can actually hit a baseball

  46. Navarro speaks english and gives interviews!

  47. I wonder if AA already has a trading partner for JPA and we just haven’t heard about it yet. I have to think that there is a team out there that likes his home run power and thinks he might do better after a change of scenery. If they are that far down the road to a Navarro deal they would have known a few days ago that they had to do something with JPA.

    • i would think any team interested in him is going to wait until 5pm to see if he is tendered….cause if he isn’t….then they can just grab him from the FA market, and not lose anything.

      • Good point. I’d forgotten about that!

      • That’s one strategy, but I imagine AA is pushing hard to get him traded before 5pm, meaning he’s assuring other gm’s that he’s valuable enough to be tendered and more, just had a down season, very durable, blah blah blah…

        • would like to hope so
          but then your calling the other GMs stupid in a way.

          • Some of them can be fooled to overvalue.

            ie Vernon wells trade.

            Anything’s possible really.

            • with 20/20 the Wells trade blew up in the angels faces….but at the time, he still had value, chances you take

              what did we get for doc? who went on to win a WS and CY Young in Philly?

      • It will be amazing if the Jays get anything of value for JP. Consider that they only hold his rights for a few more hours until they non-tender him. Then anybody can sign him as a free agent. His market value is probably close to Navarro’s 4 mil over 2 years right now.

        So if you trade for him, you do so because you want his last two years of arbitration at roughly the same money he would get on the free market. The bonus is that he only costs $2.8 mil this year and then you can walk away. So in my mind anyway, the total value of trading for JP Arencibia is probably a savings of $1 million or so, the guarantee of getting him, and the ability to see if he bounces back in 2014. That’s pretty much it.

        My guess is that we’ll be lucky to get an org guy or a middle reliever. The key is to look for teams who are so cash strapped they need that small savings and have a need for a durable catcher to bridge the gab for a few years until something better comes along.

        Who would that be? Minnesota, Atlanta? Spit ball with me…ideas welcome…

  48. Colour me happy today.
    Navarro’s gotta be better than JPA – I don’t think it’s possible to have four functioning limbs and be worse. At least he can throw it back to the pitcher without having to wait for it to stop rolling (to paraphrase Bob Ueker) Hey-oh!
    Now get me one other starter and a bench bat or two.

  49. I’m surprisingly okay with this. And until I checked his baseball ref page I completely forgot Navarro was a 2008 all-star.

  50. I’d be interested to see a study on catchers’ peak ages because they seem to develop offensively later in their careers. If that’s true and not just my perception, then I feel even better about Navarro because of the way he’s developed the last couple years. His top prospect status may not mean much 10 years later, but it shows his breakout may not be a complete mirage.

    • think its the other way around
      most Catchers peak early, then fall off…..

      only a couple guys in Mid 30s still hit well playing catcher 120 plus games a year.

      • My thinking was on guys like Carlos Ruiz (didn’t break into MLB until 27) and Yadier Molina (spent half a decade as an all-defense catcher before breaking out in his late 20s).

        This is the only one I found that I actually took the time to look at:

        “Catchers peak two seasons later than other players”

        • not sure how to take that write up
          campairing Catchers to All players….are pitchers in their? what about D only middle infielders, yada yada

          how many 33-35 plus catchers do you see ripping it up,

          but really, i cant say for sure, this is just my opinion based on no facts what so ever lol

          • I mostly agree with you there, but I’m not talking about mid-30s. Navarro is 29. There’s no reason to think he’s going to start declining over the next two years, and my comment on aging later was referring to development as opposed to decline. I’m basically suggesting that, if catchers reach their peak offensive performance later (due to the demands the position places on defense, game calling, etc.), Navarro’s performance the last couple years may be a sign of real improvement going forward as opposed to a complete outlier.

  51. I can’t believe Navarro’s only 29.

  52. JPA is the only player in MLB to go 0-4 in batting practice. Farewell JP, thanks for that 1 good game

  53. I just wish JP was actually as good as he thinks he is….

    I’m pleased about this signing, but this isn’t the move that will push us over the top.
    it is a welcome tweak though.

    Reminds me of last year when everyone lost their shit when we signed Izturis

  54. Two year contract suggests that they see him as a bridge to the guys in the prospect pipeline, which is interesting.

    But maybe not, and maybe it just leads to another round of kicking the tires on the market, since GOD is it an awful market.

    • There’s lots of catchers in the system, but I keep hearing how wonderful Nessy and Jiminez are.

  55. And on a sad note…these girls will never be seen on TV again

  56. So, if we trade jp, and start the season with navarro and thole

    What happens if someone gets hurt? Whos our 3rd catcher?

    • they will sign someone to start in AAA. Chances are AJ Jimenez gets some time at AAA if not there to start the year.

      • Could they dfa jp and then resign him to a minor league deal? :p

        I suppose some club will acutually want him on their big league roster though

        Still the lack of depth concerns me, catching is a position with a high risk of injury.

        • if they Non tender him making him a FA – 11.5 hrs and counting btw…..then there is no way i can see him signing a minor league deal.

          Its up to AA to convince another GM that wants him that he is willing to tender him an offer so that he can get a trade out of him. But we wont know until Midnight or sooner i would think.

          I am sure AA is working the phones right now, holding off on then tender as long as possible,

  57. You have to think JPA will be better in 2014…

    …only because it’s not possible to be worse.

    Anyways, JPA had some great games in a Blue Jay uniform. Here’s to remembering the good times:

    • Anything’s possible, but yes it would be foolish to assume he will stay the same.

      He will almost certainly regress to his career numbers, which is still not good ha!

  58. Nickeas, Jiminez. Same people as it was before.

  59. I love how the article has pretty much nothing about Navarro himself. Not that non is needed. His most valuable skill is not being JP Arencibia.

    Article should have been titled
    “Jays sign new Catcher. Not Arencibia. Name irrelevent”

  60. How our standards have TANKED in one year. Dude is a part time catcher with iffy history, iffy defence, and iffy pitch-calling who played on a horrible team last year. So he rakes LHP, Jays will still start Thole??? And maybe even more of him ???? OMG. We’re the Cubs of the north now if this is the standard.

    • not every player on the team has to be an AllStar stud

      But this is an upgrade.

    • The Cards gave 800+ plate appearances to Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma in 2013. The Braves got an Arencibian performance out of B.J. Upton. Garrett Jones was the starting first baseman for the Pirates. Even the top teams have holes in their lineups.

    • You, sir, are a moron. Keep playing your copy of MLB: The Show 2011, pretending J.P. can be something he isn’t. Keep deluding yourself

    • Yeah, there’s no way a Championship team would field a player like Navarro, is there?

      Say like the Red Sox. Who played Will Middlebrooks at 3B for 94 games last year. Who had a wRC+ of 83. That is exactly the same as Navarro’s career mark.

      You don’t need stars everywhere, just no sucking black holes in the line-up. Middlebrooks and Navarro are non-black holes.

  61. *two claps*

  62. Whenever I am hungover instead of pulling the trigger I think about the fact that JPA’s high OBP is .282 and I instantly throw up.

  63. Gregor just tweeted Navarro was Garza’s first choice of catcher in Chicago last year. So…there’s that?

  64. If AA could swing a deal with the A’s that would bring
    Brett Anderson and John Jaso to Toronto, that might be pretty good.

    Jaso got hurt and Oakland made the playoffs
    using mainly Norris and Vogt.
    Jaso might be available.
    Anderson is also rumored to be available
    he Anderson has been discussed in this space before.

    A catching platoon of Jaso and Navarro would be a huge upgrade.

  65. Wonder if Dioner could be the platoon mate to Lind as well. Dioner absolutely crushed lefty pitching last year.

    vs LHP as RHB .361 .451 .672 1.123

    I know small sample size but still.

  66. Keith Law’s take is up. Anyone with Insider care to summarize?

    • Says it’s an overpay. Should get 2.5 mill per he says.
      Shits on JP

    • Basically… It’s more money than he thought Navarro would get. Conlcuding that the Jays see more potential than he does.
      He also points out that the Jays pretty much had to do it.

  67. You know Andrew makes a good point. If JPA was projected to make 2.8 in arb this year, and then 5 next year, the salary is identical in AAV to Navarro.

    This makes the argument for in favour of Navarro even more concrete

  68. Highly doubt that JPA will get non-tendered today. Money is not guaranteed, Reed Johnson, anyone? AA will try his best to trade JPA for a bag of balls between now and start of spring training. It will be so interesting to hear what JPA has to say in twitter now

  69. Hello Beard.

    Are we gonna have a preseason Drunk Jay Fans shitshow at a bar this year or what?

    A simple yes or no please.

    I can help organize. Don’t fuck around and just answer the question please.

  70. I’d like to dedicate this one to JPA….

    don’t let the door hit you on the way you fuckhead….

  71. As I’m sure all of you have already figured….JPA is gone by the end of the day.

  72. Fucking finally. I cringe at the thought of watching Arencibia fuck things up 2-3 times every game.

    This sums up the fanbase.

    • Didn’t we all? It was especially “cringe-worthy” late in a close game with runners on and up sauntered JPA, with a bat in his hand acting like he was Albert Pujols.

  73. I dunno… I guess if you belong to the “no JP’s club” Navaro isn’t JP so he’s allowed in.

  74. Fuuuccckkkk yeeesssss. I dont love a navarro/thole platoon, but its so much better than anything jpa is involved in. Still think Ianneta should have been first priority, but I’ll take this.

  75. Why did he only play 84 games last year? Injury?

    Check out this Fangraphs article that had Dioner going to Texas and the Jays being “SOL”:

    Team Market Sign
    Yankees Big Brian McCann
    Red Sox Big A.J. Pierzynski
    Angels Big Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    Rangers Mid-Big Dioner Navarro
    Blue Jays Mid SOL
    Rockies Small SOL
    Twins Small SOL

  76. Wow I’m tired of the Jays being a ‘mid-market team’. They’ve got awhile damn’ country which is a bigger audience than any other team in MLB and Toronto is either the third or fourth largest city on the continent.

  77. Scott Kazmir signed to the As. According to Rosenthal this will mean Colon is ‘out in the cold’…

  78. Maybe they signed Navarro as a backup and they’re still in the running for a starting catcher?

  79. This is a great signing. The market for catchers is shit. We need pitchers. At 8M/2 years, this isn’t a ton of money, and is completely moveable in a year if we don’t like him. It will be a replacement level upgrade on JPA at the very least, and leaves lots of salary available for pitchers.

  80. Maybe Navarro will be back up because Thole will be shipped with Dickey back to a national league club???

  81. LOL look at the details of the contract.

    1:14pm: Navarro’s contract will pay him $3MM in 2014 and $5MM in 2015, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Exactly the same as the arencibia arb projection

  82. They could still go to arbitration with JPA. Try and convince an arbiter of how terrible he is and maybe retain him for reasonable money.

    Keep him in the org thru spring training, then cut him if there is no injury, or if desperate trade partner does not appear.

    The arbitration process is flawed, but it would be interesting to see if it is blind.

  83. Dont think this is a great singing. Better than nothing I guess. Would have loved Molina instead at same price for solid defense to help staff.

    Really hope they keep Jp in minors for insurance having fasano mentor him and hope he learns adjustments hitting. 2% of payroll worth it to have depth at catcher when other two options are mediocre and no sure thing at all. Hopefully thole can regain some hitting ability and jays may be banking on that.

    Is Navarro really a lock as an upgrade over Jp? Everyone likes to hate on jp these days but just one year ago many considered him a potential all star and core member of the team. Please don’t trade him for bag of balls. Catching in MLB is hard especially when you are young learning all the aspects and play the majority of games. Jp did it admirably for first two years and hit a snag last year. Ideally there would have been another guy to help carry load last year and he could have had time to adjust instead of being thrown out there every game. At least in previous years he had veteran def backups to help with everything that goes into catching. He is the same player with same potential and it isn’t too much of a stretch that he could be better than navarro next year. Two and three years ago Navarro was a veteran in the minors while Jp was a hyped rookie and sophmore who did well.

    Jays biggest weakness is still catching please don’t trade away one of the three options there for nothing.

  84. This is a great point.

    I see it from a different perspective in this situation than the other posters. Catchers develop slower hitting wise because there is so much to learn and do at catcher – scout the hitters, game plans with pitchers, learning to catch – frame, block. Pitch calling. The list goes on not to mention the physical toll.

    JP as a young guy you have to expect this learning curve – he couldn’t make adjustments hitting the way others could because he had to focus on all the other stuff and he didn’t have anyone to back him up to give him time to do that

    There is a reason so many guys are moved off catcher – because they likely wont achieve their offensive potential ala Carlos Delgado and so many others. And why catchers take longer to break into the league – JP maybe came up too early and was maybe doomed to fail given he was the primary guy catching the bulk of the time.

  85. This may have been noted in the comments (only got about half way through) but this also sets up Navarro as a legit DH option against LHP in case AA is comes across a better option then Thole out there (otherwise presumably Navarro’s catching against LHP) .

  86. Am I the only one who thinks we’ll be bringing in another catcher?


  88. This is going to sound a little crazy but when they are tabulating pitch framing statistics do they consider attendance? Borderline calls in all sports tend (very subtly) to go along with crowd reactions (from the book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won) and the Jays had a lot more fans at their games and they were very easily displeased… so I wonder if that is a factor.

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