Blue Jays are not fielding active trade calls for Dioner Navarro
The Toronto Blue Jays will hold their first scheduled work-out for pitchers and catchers on Monday, February 23rd. Among those reporting to camp will be Dioner Navarro, who will be entering his second season with the Jays.
Although if he had any control over the matter, Navarro would find himself in camp with another squad this spring.
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After signing Russell Martin to a 5-year deal this winter, and essentially handing him the starting catching job for the duration of said contract, Dioner Navarro made it known to both the media and the team that his preference would be to receive a trade this winter. Navarro, coming off a solid season in a Blue Jays uniform, had no intentions of going into his walk year as a back-up catcher/part-time designated hitter.
Alas, despite what appeared to be a shortage of capable catchers available this winter, and Navarro offering a relatively small risk for a team to take, the Blue Jays were unable to find a trade partner looking to give them what they wanted in return; an impact reliever. Now, with camp ready to open in just four days, it appears that the team has shifted gears towards having Navarro in camp, along with Russell Martin and Josh Thole.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Blue Jays are not involved in any active discussions for Navarro’s services. It comes as no real surprise, as the teams that would make the most sense seemingly pulled out the picture months ago, yet Morosi appears to have checked in again on the matter and tweeted the fact that it’s a ghost-town situation right now.
While it is currently a non-news item, as there simply is nothing to report on the matter even if Morosi is breaking the angle, it still remains one of the more interesting storylines that the Blue Jays will be telling in Dunedin when camp opens. We have one catcher in Martin willing to catch the knuckleball, another catcher in Thole that R.A. Dickey is seemingly hitting the campaign trail for, and then we have Dioner Navarro who is unhappy with his situation, relegated to bench duty and seemingly a third wheel on what appears to be a bad date.
While Martin undoubtedly makes the team better and Blue Jays fans will be really happy with his performance on the field, it is somewhat of an unfair situation for Dioner Navarro. Afterall, the incumbent backstop did everything the Blue Jays paid him to do in 2014 and more, putting up a 2-win season behind a .274/.317/.395 slash-line, 12 home runs, and 69 RBI. And short his inferior work with throwing runners out (pitchers could share some of that blame), Navarro wasn’t absolutely terrible behind the plate either.
His decision to move on does have merit, and the Blue Jays will likely still try to oblige that. However, at this point in the winter, Toronto will be forced to move forward as though he will be part of the plans in 2015 and just hope that a situation arises this spring where a viable trade partner steps forward.