Blue Jays, Dioner Navarro have potential trade partners


If there has been one thing that has been made overwhelmingly clear this spring, it is that Dioner Navarro wants a trade to a team that he can start for and the Toronto Blue Jays would like to oblige him on that request. However, to this point, the Blue Jays have been unable to find a trade partner that would line up with the club’s needs (read here as second base or bullpen).

But Spring Training has a way of sorting things out, and as Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports, a couple of potential suitors may be stepping up to the plate for Navarro’s services. According to the piece from Elliott, Navarro even knows that names of the team that are supposedly interested in him.

"“My agent (Melvin Roman) told me both Arizona and Detroit have interest.” – Dioner Navarro (h/t Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun)"

It’s interesting that the news comes out of the mouth of Navarro, perhaps with his agent pulling the puppet strings to force a deal, but the news isn’t necessarily new either. Exactly one month ago we heard of the Tiger’s potential interest in Navarro’s services, and a month before that was the last time we had heard the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks had discussed a trade for Toronto’s extra backstop. That need doesn’t necessarily die down over time, but it also doesn’t mean that a deal is any closer to happening either. And while my first instinct is to think “tampering” if a team goes to a player, Melvin Roman isn’t exactly bringing anything fresh to the table.

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As discussed in the piece linked above, the Tigers conversation is a non-starter. If there is a team with a bullpen in more dire straights than the Blue Jays and even less roster flexibility, it is the Tigers. Additionally, Detroit has a solid starter at catcher in Alex Avila, giving Navarro another far-from-ideal locale to pine away on the bench from.

On paper, Arizona still seems to be the most logical trade partner, at least in terms of need at catcher and in regards to availability of potential return pieces. After all, this is a team full of relief arms to spare. The Diamondbacks are also bringing to camp a potential starter in Tuffy Gosewich that owns a career .225/.242/.310 and has only 55 games and 179 career plate appearances under his belt. Meanwhile, Gosewich will likely be backed up by Rule 5 selection Oscar Hernandez. Hernandez appeared in 94 games last season, at High-A Bowling Green in the Midwest League and has never played higher in his 5 professional seasons.

That said, the Diamondbacks have a number of interesting arms in their bullpen which could be attractive to Toronto. Let’s pretend that Addison Reed and Brad Ziegler are off the table, as the Blue Jays simply won’t add to the Navarro pot to sweeten that deal. However, Arizona is going to have a roster crunch in the rotation and it is going to reverberate back through their bullpen. That means that arms like Randall Delgado, Evan Marshall, and David Hernandez may need to find new homes (I’m admittedly unsure of their minor league options). Again, the Blue Jays may have to sweeten a deal for a potential relief arm in their regard as well, but that return piece would be decidedly smaller than what would need to go back for Reed or Ziegler.

I have a feeling that this Navarro story line will play itself out by the end of spring training, as teams are forced to re-evaluate what they have, what they don’t, and what to do with the guys without options. There will be a potential trade partner in that mix, but it isn’t going to be forced by Dioner Navarro and his agent.

Next: Which Blue Jays are out of options and on the bubble?

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