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Friday, November 16, 2012

Source: Cubs sign C Navarro

The Chicago Cubs signed catcher Dioner Navarro, a source familiar with the situation told ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine.

Navarro, a former All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, spent much of last season in the Cincinnati Reds’ minor-league system. He played 24 games with the major league team and hit .290.

Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger are expected to battle for the Cubs’ starting spot next season.

Voodoo Posted: November 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, reds

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   1. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4304339)
I would have guessed Navarro was around 34, but he's only 28. He was in the trades that sent Randy Johnson to the Yankees and then Shawn Green to Arizona.
   2. Dock Ellis Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4304363)
I know the free agent money is about to get crazy and catchers don't grow on trees and the Cubs need to overpay a little to bring free agents on board but $1.75M seems a little rich for Navarro.
   3. Voodoo Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4304377)
Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger are expected to battle for the Cubs’ starting spot next season.


If this is the case, then what is the purpose of having Navarro around? Castillo bats righty and Clevenger lefty, so they'd already be potential platoon partners. It seems like both have been around long enough that if they aren't part of the plan in at least a backup capacity, they probably have no future. Navarro is a bit better than NRI roster filler, but like Dock said this seems like a bit of an overpay ... or at least odd that they felt the need to grab him off the market so early. I guess they want to make sure they have enough backup plans at catcher so they don't end up having to give Koyie Hill a call again this year.
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4304388)
I know the free agent money is about to get crazy and catchers don't grow on trees and the Cubs need to overpay a little to bring free agents on board but $1.75M seems a little rich for Navarro.


The Cubs have a huge budget and there aren't going to be a a huge number of good places to spend all the money. It's probably worth a small overpay here just so Theo & Co. can get this taken care of early and so not have to think about the position again until the spring.
   5. Dock Ellis Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4304399)
Yeah, I know this move won't exactly sink the Cubs but I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around the dollar figure.
   6. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4304407)
I think the days of signing any major league free agent for less than 1 million per year are over.
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4304409)
I know the free agent money is about to get crazy and catchers don't grow on trees and the Cubs need to overpay a little to bring free agents on board but $1.75M seems a little rich for Navarro.


It's the market rate for 0.25 WAR given what teams will probably spend next year

Sure, he's averaging less than a quarter Win per season during his career, but now he's 28, in his prime. He's a good bet to break out and produce as much as 0.5 WAR!

In reality, if he gets lots of playing time he's probably good for half a win (or more if you think the organization is thin on Catchers, IDK), so he's an insurance type policy that comes with a small lottery ticket if he gets flipped for any type of prospect.
   8. SteveM. Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4304443)
Clevinger is destined for AAA. After his struggles after returning from injury, I suspect the front office has soured on him.
   9. Brian C Posted: November 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4304583)
Yeah, it's worth remembering just how bad Clevenger was after his hot start last season. Plus, his defense is pretty suspect. He has a minor league track record that makes him not worth giving up on completely just yet, but there's no sense in just giving him the backup job and assuming things'll work out for him.

Navarro, meanwhile, has "better than Koyie Hill" going for him. That's about all, though.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4304586)
Any vet reserve is going to make about a mill.

But like #3 suggests, if you have two cheap, replacement level catchers already, why even burn $1.75 mill on Navarro?
   11. Brian C Posted: November 16, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4304640)
But like #3 suggests, if you have two cheap, replacement level catchers already, why even burn $1.75 mill on Navarro?

Because Clevenger was not close to "replacement level" last season, and they don't have anyone on the farm who's any better. And because $1.75 million is essentially free in terms of baseball economics these days, especially for a team like the Cubs.

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