From the Wire … Cubs Sign Dioner Navarro

According to multiple reports, the Cubs signed Dioner Navarro to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million. Navarro is expected to back-up Welington Castillo next season.

Navarro spent last season in the Reds’ system with a majority of the year spent at the Triple-A level. In 24 games with the Reds, Navarro put together a .290/.306/.449/.755 line with three double and two home runs. The Cubs are expected to announce the signing late Thursday.

Dioner Navarro reportedly inked a Major League contract and with the addition of Navarro, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 38 players.

The 28-year old catcher (February 9, 1884) had a breakout season in 2008 with Matt Garza and the Rays. Dioner Navarro finished the year with a .295/.349/.407/.757 line in 120 games with 19 doubles and nine home runs. Navarro has not been able to repeat his 2008 season and after a failed year with the Dodgers in 2011, Navarro had to sign a minor league contract with the Reds to remain in the game.

Dioner Navarro’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • Zonk

    Pop Quiz: Who has a higher OPS with the Cubs, Clevenger or Koyie HIll?
    The fact that Clevenger stinks was masked by his hot start last year, over a whopping 30 ABs or so
    And at least Hill is a plus defender

    • BosephHeyden

      I don’t know what defense you’re talking about: Hill looked awful behind the plate every time I saw him.

    • Tony_Hall

      Don’t believe I have ever heard Hill called a “plus defender”….at least not by anyone who ever saw him play…

      • Theboardrider

        We used to hear that he handled the staff well. I guess pitchers liked throwing to him.

        • Tony_Hall

          Big difference between receiving skills and being a plus defender. His defensive skills were below average. He gets the the reputation that pitchers liked to throw to him, because he started with a lower pitcher’s ERA in 2007, his 1st year with the Cubs.

          2007 – 2.98 (956 PA)
          2008 – 5.48 (202 PA)
          2009 – 3.69 (2667 PA)
          2010 – 4.89 (2389 PA)
          2011 – 4.54 (1549 PA)

          As you can see small sample sized of 07 and 08 see greater fluctuation.

          Soto, who was never known as a plus defender or a great receiver had these numbers in the same years.

          2007- 3.69 (508 PA)
          2008 – 3.80 (4890 PA)
          2009 – 3.98 (3480 PA)
          2010 – 4.23 (3712 PA)
          2011 – 4.29 (4503 PA)

  • cubs1967

    i miss koyie hill…………geez; 7.25M for an injured pitcher and a 29 yr old verion of Hill. OUCH!

    • Rational Logic

      Baker’s not getting paid 7.25M if he’s injured…those are innings incentives. Why don’t you wait a year to see how it plays out. Could be 7.25M for a 15 game winner or someone we traded for good prospects.

      • RynoTiger

        well typed Rational Logic. I was thinking $1.75 mill for a backup catcher was actually a steal.
        I think it’s two good signings so far. I know my messiahs will lead us to the promise land.

        • Rational Logic

          Thank you. I agree – not my money anyway. Much better than using it for some 30 something guy who hits .200 but provides the always necessary “veteran leadership”

          Until results, I think these are excellent deals.

      • daverj

        I rarely defend cubs1967, but he is correct on the dollars. The $7.25 mil he cites is $5.5 mil guaranteed for Baker plus $1.75 mil guaranteed to Navarro for a total of $7.25 mil … not $7.25 mil for Baker alone. That said, I agree with your thought to wait and see how it plays out. I like the Baker move and am indifferent to the Navarro signing.

    • Theboardrider

      I like both moves. 1967 I think you’d rip management if they just signed Mantle and Mays in their primes!

  • kenv

    koyie hill was bad. sorry.
    not a good stat line .210./271/.294/.565 career, dioner
    navarro is better in all measurables. not even close.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice signing, Navarro should be a good mentor to Castillo.

    • Puzzled


  • woody34

    No love for Jason Kendall and Geo Soto that year?

    • BosephHeyden

      I’d prefer to forget about that year, especially since that battery only lasted for all of a month and the two batteries before it were just made me hope there was a trade coming (both times there were, but the first trade just lead to a worse battery).

    • ChadAudio

      So, it always seems difficult finding info on a players defense. Is Navarro known as a good defensive catcher? Does he have a good arm? Does he call a good game?

  • paulcatanese

    I think Navarro may be a good signing. I don’t know a lot about him, not do I recall a ‘thing” between him and Garza.
    But looking at what the Cubs need, and the fact that Clevenger totaly fell apart after his injury, hitting, defense, he would not fill that need the Cubs have. Hill is a closed issue in my mind, he is gone,gone, and should not be back, no reason for it.
    I have more faith in a player like Navarro coming back to his previous good year(years) is a lot more plausable than some of the risks that have been done earlier by Epstein, banking pn injuries that would heal, or guys like Germano and others.
    Cost is low and the rewards could be high.
    I can see this signing.

  • kenv

    navarro may be the best back up catcher we’ve had in a long time, definitely this century. , best since keith moreland backed up jody davis? or am i imagining things? best since the joe girardi days?

  • Rational Logic

    Paul Bako/Damien Miller is still my favorite

  • BosephHeyden

    I really like this signing. He’s not washed up and, if Castillo regresses, he’s talented enough that he could legitimately start. And, best case scenario, he establishes good trade value later in the season.

  • John G

    I always liked Hank White

  • Anthony Reed

    Soto and Blanco in 08 was my fav

  • kenv

    i’d take damon berryhill and joe girardi as my favorite twosome

  • Tony_Hall

    I agree, he was always my favorite backup.

  • Neil

    You both beat me to it … I liked Hank as well.

  • Rational Logic

    Geez, how could I forget. He actually was pretty darn good. Well played, sir.

  • paulcatanese

    I always liked Bob Scheffing:)

  • Theboardrider

    I liked Henry Blanco too…