Cotillo: Cubs looking to move Dioner Navarro


Via Chris Cotillo: The Cubs are looking to trade backup catcher and former Yankees farmhand Dioner Navarro. Chicago traded Scott Feldman last week and Scott Hairston last night, so they have definitely started their selling off period in advance of the deadline. The Cubbies currently have the seventh worst record in baseball at 38-48.

Navarro, 29, had a breakout year with the Rays back in 2008 (105 wRC+), but he followed that up with a 56 wRC+ from 2009-2011. He resurfaced with the Reds last season and has hit .291/.338/.503 (124 wRC+) in 196 plate appearances since, including a .291/.358/.536 (141 wRC+) line in 123 plate appearances with the Cubs this year. Navarro is a switch-hitter who has historically fared much better against left-handed pitchers, something that fits perfectly with the Yankees’ needs. He is a below-average defender though.

The Yankees have passed on backup catcher upgrades all season, but perhaps Frankie Cervelli‘s recent setback changes things. Navarro’s poor defense and lack of familiarity with the pitching staff are knocks against him, but his bat would be a huge upgrade over Austin Romine even if he reverts back to last year’s 96 wRC+ form. He’s owed less than $1M the rest of the way and will be a free agent after the season, so the risk is small. If the trade cost is reasonable, they should pounce. I suspect the Yankees will pass, however.

Categories : Asides, Trade Deadline


  1. I still don’t know why the Yankees continue to pass up opportunities to upgrade at catcher. It is honestly baffling.

    • trr says:

      They really seem to be content with Romine. Stewart has never caught so many games at this level, he seems a good candidate to break down at some point. We need help at C!

  2. ProjectNeo says:

    Would be a massive upgrade over Romine, but the log jam at backstop in the upper minors makes me think it’s not gonna happen.

  3. mike myers says:

    Didnt the Yankees draft him?

  4. jsbrendog says:

    sadly, i think i can sum all of this up succinctly:


  5. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I mean, he’d cost absolutely nothing, and the team hasn’t been averse to picking up fringe guys who’d make for incremental improvements.

    We probably wouldn’t even have to ship the box of Mikey O’Brien I have in my living room for him.

    But, please, allow me to have a self-serving DUMPSTA DIVIN moment at the thought of advocating for a Navarro reunion a second. There….that’s better.

  6. OhioYanks says:

    The grass is always greener outlook is probably why you’re always surprised at who the Yankees pass up. Navarro is a career 80 wRC+ hitter with 3.2 career fWAR in over 2000 PAs. He could be an upgrade, sure, but you say “even if he reverts back to last year’s 96 wRC+ form” as if it’s his floor. Before 123 PAs this season that was basically his best case. Maybe there’s more to the story in terms of some sort of an issue that he’s overcome or changes he’s made, but you don’t present that.

    Deciding that Romine is going to continue to be bad going forward plus Navarro is going to be at about his best going forward will obviously lead to a pro-Navarro conclusion, but it’s not a very objective outlook. You might reach the same conclusion through a more thorough analysis, but you haven’t seemed to do that.

    • Ted Welcoming Committee says:

      We missed you, Theodore.

      • nsalem says:

        Is this Mr. Nelson back in the house???? I have missed him.

        • jsbrendog says:

          his arguing about murphy in aaa makes SO MUCH more sense now.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Always remember Mike’s line about guys under alternate screen names and how, over time, they can’t help it and start showing who they actually are.

            This is why I just don’t trust Jim. It’s clear who Jim REALLY is.

          • OhioYanks says:

            Huh? I would say the exact opposite: I said that Murphy could be an upgrade at C over the current options. I’m not sure you ever bothered to understand what you were arguing against (assuming that was you). At least one other person and myself made hypothetical arguments that *if* Murphy were to perform well in AAA he might upgrade the Yankees C situation. Other people flipped out with reactionary comments that seemed to assume we were saying he should be called up immediately or were overreacting to a small sample. Clearly missing the whole hypothetical future events contingent on continued success part of the equation.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        Speak for yourself.

    • Preston says:

      That analysis isn’t necessary because it isn’t an either or proposition. Romine is sinking at the MLB level right now. Going back to AAA where he only managed about 130 PAs due to injury couldn’t hurt. If Navarro turns back into his pre 2012 pumpkin self then you still have Romine (or maybe Murphy has shown enough to earn the promotion by then). This is obviously assuming that the asking price isn’t prohibitive.

      • OhioYanks says:

        Oh, I’m not necessarily against getting Navarro or whoever else. And I’m certainly not against sending Romine back down if there’s a better alternative, either.

        It’s just a comment on Mike’s outlook on the C situation. He seems to constantly point out all the positives of any C outside the org, and only consider the negatives of those inside it. It’s pretty obvious that the C situation is not ideal right now. It makes a case for itself. It’s not necessary to exaggerate to make guys outside the org look better than they are.

        • Chris in Durham says:

          Hear, hear!!

        • OhioYanks says:

          … Or guys inside the org look worse than they are for that matter. Mike links to a study that puts Stewart right towards the top of the league in defense (without even considering framing), yet all season he’s been saying Stewart is not a good defender.

  7. Cool Lester Smooth says:


    Ahhhhh, that’s better.

  8. LarryM Fl says:

    IMHO, Navarro is not the direction I would venture. Getting Ruiz from Philia. is my best guess. Ruiz is a good fastball hitter from my observations. His trade would put him as first string and Stewart moving toward his usual role.

    • Preston says:

      Even though they probably should be, I’m not sure Philly is a seller yet. Ruiz would cost more in prospects and you have to wait until the deadline just to see if he’s available. I’d probably rather have Navarro for cheaper now, then hypothetically wait for Ruiz later.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        True enough, it’s not like Navarro isn’t cuttable if/when he sucks.

        • jsbrendog says:

          exactly. send chicago eric fryer redux, get navarro and then you at least have a better bargainig position should ruiz become available. but i would’ve signed any/all of the castoff c’s the yanks passed on so let’s be honest,. this prob won’t happen. even olivo is an upgrade as of now. is jose molina available? hahaha (i know he isnt)

        • trr says:


  9. vicki says:

    i hate chris stewart’s face, but can we all acknowledge how tricky it is to plug in a catcher mid-season?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I read the other day that face transplants are close to becoming medically viable.

    • Preston says:

      I wouldn’t be that worried about it with a veteran catcher. Stewart would probably still start a lot of games if we got somebody like Navarro and that would give them plenty of bullpens and such to get a feel for the pitchers. One or two weeks of getting to know you troubles behind the plate would be worth an improved bat.

      • vicki says:

        they don’t get any more veteran than pudge.

        i’m all for cheap upgrades, but i suspect the fo is wary. and how many examples of deadline acquisition catcher success stories can you think of?

        • jsbrendog says:

          pudge didn’t klnow how to call any other pitch but fastball. he is a horrible example

        • Preston says:

          Just the season before the Pudge fiasco the Yankees picked up Jose Molina. That worked out okay. That same season (2007) Jason Kendall was a pretty nice addition to the Cubs. But you’re right, I was hard pressed to come up with any big mid-season C trades. I think that has a lot to do with teams not wanting to trade quality catchers though and less to do with C’s not being able to adjust to their new pitching staffs and their productivity suffering from it. I never had to learn a pitching staff though, so you could be on to something. And it definitely could be something Girardi and Cashman are concerned about.

          • jsbrendog says:

            but how many times were backup catchers shuffled in and out? i bet a lot more than big c trades. and that’s what, sadly, we are looking at now with the yanks

    • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:


      OH! Its not that bad he has a nice smile.

    • mitch says:

      i don’t think it’s that tricky. CC, Andy, and Kuroda have pitched to many different catchers over thousands of innings. They’d be able to figure it out. It’s not like they had extensive histories with Romine prior to this season.

  10. EndlessJose says:

    So is that what we do now….get rid of bad prospects who don’t hit here and dumpster dive for them again. We aren’t the Astros.

  11. ropeadope says:

    I know he recently turned 88, but couldn’t Yogi outplay all these guys on memory alone? Even the potential failing memory of an 88 year old.

  12. mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    Today’s line-up

    Brett Gardner CF
    Zoilo Almonte LF
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Travis Hafner DH
    Vernon Wells RF
    Travis Ishikawa 1B
    Luis Cruz SS
    Alberto Gonzalez 3B
    Austin Romine C

    RHP Phil Hughes

    Eddard going to have an organism Almonte is hitting second. Its been half a season and i still can’t get use to the Yankees starting line-ups.
    This .291/.358/.536 (141 wRC+) would look good anywhere in this line-up.

    • jsbrendog says:

      right? almost every time i look i find myself going “jesus, this is the team I root for? for f&$%^ sake”

      I am extremely happy they have so far made me (somewhat) eat my words by staying in the playoff picture.

      go team/

      • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

        Agree, but I see LOTS of bunting in the near future (tonight).

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Congratulations, Eddard! You and Nuney must be so proud.

    • vicki says:

      girardi finally figured out ichi’s reverse platoon splits?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        But not Wells’ normal platoon splits?

        • vicki says:


          vs. rhp .580ops
          vs. rh starter .719ops

          with the bref note that “vs. starter batting splits are for the entire game when the starter was LH or RH. these splits include any subsequent plate appearances against a reliever regardless of their throwing hand.”

          the really weird part is

          vs. lh starter .513ops

    • trr says:

      lotta shit in that line-up, esp 6-9.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

      Who is Luis Cruz???

  13. SDB says:

    I’m all for it. Would rather see him than Ruiz, who would probably cost a lot more in terms of quality prospects.

    But please, someone, anyone that’s not named Austin Romine. Please.

    • jsbrendog says:

      honestly, i feel so bad for romine. the yanks are just shitting on his confidence i feel. the kid is clearly overmatched so instead of getting someone, anyone to replace him and give him a chance to succeed at aaa and progress they’re leaving him out to dry.

      i would liken it to leaving in a pitcher long after he has lost it to get hammered (not in the $12 beer good way)

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Finally, someone understands me.

        Anthony Claggett

      • OhioYanks says:

        It’s 13 games worth of PAs and rumors were that they weren’t letting him take batting practice when he first came up to spend more time learning the staff (or something to that effect… which does happen with some coaches, rightly or wrongly). He’s been horrid, but I wouldn’t take that to mean that he’s necessarily actually this overmatched. Possible, but fairly unlikely for a guy who was average or above basically in AA and AAA.

        • jsbrendog says:

          this is nonsense, Ted.

          • OhioYanks says:

            What is your problem?

            • Robinson Tilapia says:


              • Preston says:

                If it isn’t Ted then this is childish. If it is him then you’re just making it so that a very intelligent poster who’s perspective has been missed on this site is driven away again.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  i have never missed his perspective. if you did you are free to act how you see fit. that’s how this works.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                  If by driven away, you mean banned.
                  Seems like that’s what happened the first time. And why he’s returned with a different name.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  If this is actually Ted, then he should just say so and come back as Ted. If it’s also Ted, then I can’t understand why he’s now starting arguments with the few people he actually stayed away from before. I wouldn’t be driving him away. He drove himself away before me or brendog or whoever else ever got involved.

                  If it’s not Ted, then it’s about as childish as the 10,000 other fucking things we do here because we’re procrastinating.

  14. mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    Have to give Joe Girardi and his coaching staff major credit for keeping the SS Has Beens & Wannabes a float. Its truly amazing that they are where they are.

    • jsbrendog says:

      reinforcements are on the way pal! turn that frown….sideways-ish…..or something. I’ve heard it both ways.

      • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

        Dude, reinforcements have been coming for months. The fox hole is filling up with bodies and they running out of bullets there so much General Girardi can do.

        • jsbrendog says:

          nah man, they’re all actually on rehab assignments. jeter and arod’s windows have started, nunez is back, pineda is ready in a couple weeks. it’s getting better.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I mean…TED’s BACK!

  15. The Real Greg says:

    Did you know that Chris Stewart has only 4 passed balls this year? I thought he would have more.

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