Teams Still Talking Navarro with the Cubs

According to Bruce Levine, teams are still talking to the Cubs about Dioner Navarro as the end of the month approaches. The Cubs have had numerous discussions with the Cardinals about Navarro according to Levine. St. Louis has major concerns about Yadier Molina’s health and the Cardinals would like to have a veteran, such as Dioner Navarro, on their roster to back up Yadier Molina.

Dioner Navarro is having a career year as the Cubs’ backup catcher. The Cubs signed Navarro to a one-year deal last off-season for $1.75 million that included a $250,000 performance based incentive package.

After going 2-for-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored on Tuesday night, Dioner Navarro is hitting .291/360/.505 this season with six doubles and 11 home runs for a .865 OPS. The Cubs and Navarro have voiced an interest on him re-signing with the team in the off-season. And if he does, Navarro’s price tag figures to increase significantly from a year ago.

Cubs Prospects and the Arizona Fall League

The focus for the Cubs this fall will be in Arizona with the four top prospects in the system all participating in the AFL. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are expected to see regular playing time with the Mesa Solar Sox when games begin on October 8. Albert Almora is on the taxi squad, which means he will be available for games on Wednesday and Saturday.

It is unknown at this point how much time Arodys Vizcaino and Dallas Beeler will see. Both pitchers are coming back from injury and Vizcaino has not pitched in a game in two full seasons.

Matt Loosen should make his share of starts for the Solar Sox and Armando Rivero figures to see quite a bit of action out of the bullpen.

Javier Baez will be making his second straight trip to the fall league. Baez should split time with Oakland’s top prospect, Addison Russell, at shortstop.

Jed Hoyer addressed where Baez will play during the AFL season. Hoyer said that Baez will play short, but will see time at other positions. Hoyer did not indicate which positions but did say, “The more versatility our guys have, the better.”

Hoyer went onto explain, “You will see some guys move around the diamond. It doesn’t mean we’re thinking about moving them off their primary position. It just means it can help the Major League club in the future it they can move around.”

Dale Sveum is looking forward to watching Baez, Soler, Bryant and Almora play in the AFL.

Daytona Combines on a No-Hitter

Ben Wells, Kyler Burke and Zach Cates combined on a seven-inning no-hitter on Tuesday night in the second game of a doubleheader against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Tuesday was the second time this year that Daytona no-hit the Blue Jays.

Both ends of the doubleheader were resumptions of two games that were suspended by rain. Daytona took game one 6-4 that was the resumption of Monday’s game then became the visiting team in their park as the second game was the conclusion of the game that was started on August 21 in Dunedin.

Daytona reduced their magic number to two to win the Florida State League North second half title by sweeping both ends of the double header on Tuesday.

Luis Valbuena

Luis Valbuena made his first rehab start with the AZL Cubs on Tuesday night. Valbuena hit second in the lineup behind rehabbing Ryan Sweeney. Valbuena was the designated hitter in his first game action in nearly a month. Valbuena could be activated from the DL as soon as Sunday when rosters expand.

September Call-Ups

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, the Cubs’ September call-ups “will likely be a few pitchers and Luis Valbuena and Ryan Sweeney.” Muskat reported last week that the Cubs could make several changes to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 40 players, and call-up players in September that would have to be added to the roster over the winter. The report contradicted other reports that indicated the Cubs would not be adding any players to the active roster that were not already on the 40-man big league roster.

Teams can add as many players as they would like from the 40-man roster to their active roster starting on Sunday.

News, Notes and Rumors

Bruce Levine has heard the Cubs could be interested in signing Jacoby Ellsbury this winter. Levine is not sure if the Cubs are interested in Shin-Soo Choo.

MLB.com has updated their ranking of the top prospects in the Cubs’ system and Neil Ramirez has been inserted at No. 12. Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Mike Olt, Arodys Vizcaino, Pierce Johnson, Arismendy Alcantara, Matt Szczur and Dan Vogelbach comprise MLB.com’s top 10 Cubs’ prospect list.

Donnie Murphy is just hoping to stick with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

Mike Quade has a few regrets but was glad for his chance with the Cubs according to the Sun-Times.

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  • triple

    It’s not very often that a Cubs free agent signing actually has a good season like Dioner Navarro has, especially in a back up role. I don’t really know how well it serves the Cubs to try and pass him through waivers to trade him to the Cards, or anyone. I know he may be pricey to resign, but it would be nice to have him back. Some will wonder if he can produce like he has for another year and beyond, but I tend to think he can be very valuable especially while Wellington Castillo will still be developing at catcher and as a hitter, hopefully. Besides, it’s not like we have any other prospects close to ready at the position. Also, Navarro’s effectiveness as a switch hitting pinch hitter has been a huge plus!

    • Brp921

      Early on in the season I thought his defense was atrocious. It seemed there wasn’t a game went by when he was catching that he didn’t make some kind of bad play. I have to say as the season progressed he seems to have improved defensively and he’s been really good batting all year.

      • Dorasaga

        Late studies have proven that pitchers have more to do with passed balls/wild pitches. The best skill about Navarro is his ability to receive pitches and turn borderlines into called strikes, methinks.

    • 07GreyDigger

      As usual, Navarro has a good chance to be a high paid starting catcher, as there are usually not many available in free agency. While he’s been a great pinch hitter and backup, I think it would be a waste of money to spend big bucks to keep him around when he probably isn’t your starter. But I will say it was a good move to sign him. No one expected this out of him. Probably not even Theo and Jed.

    • Dorasaga

      He’s good for platoon. Please see my reply to Paul above/below.

  • That One Guy

    Mike Quade. LOL.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      One of those 20 plus year Cubs employees who the FO felt deserved a chance.

    • paulcatanese

      I as well as many others did not like Mike Quade, thought he was a poor manager. However, he did one thing, he played to win, using almost only veterans in the lineup and
      ignoring the call-ups to, in his mind, to win games to further what he thought was a managers role. His decisions were not the best,
      but the bottom line, he wanted to win games, and that one thing, I cannot fault him for.

      • That One Guy

        Damn, he was trying to win? Ouch. Could you imagine the results had he tried to lose? 100 wins? Back-to-back world series titles?

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Pirates paid dearly for Marlon Byrd. He’s supposed to win them a pennant.

    LOL!!

    On the other hand, he’s a better bat than a lot of the players they
    have run out there. AND he’s a FA at the end of the year. I would have
    thought they would have done better with Schierholtz or Bogusevic, but
    I digress……

    • 07GreyDigger

      Steroids make you hit homeruns. But then again, he was so surprised when Victor Conte was busted. So surprised he still worked with him after…

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Tom U…thanks for posting that Rick Monday video…just saw it ……I remember watching that game…..allot of confusing was going on what happen…….Monday was later on Johnny Carson Tonight Show…the flag was kept in a bank safe……..for Monday, the Dodgers gave us Buckner, Dejesus & Garmen……..Dejesus gave us Bowa & Sandberg……..funny how the fans were just walked off the field by security….if that happen today, 100 cops would have taser these guys, body slammed them to the ground and gave them a few kicks to their groin area…..and the game would be delayed for a hazardous chemical spill clean up on the field.

  • paulcatanese

    Navarro should not be traded period, end of story.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Team Theo runs the Cubs. They have
      determined that he’s expendable. Besides,he’s not even a regular on this team!
      Navarro cannot win a regular job on this last place team.
      AND YOU WANT TO KEEP HIM! DON’T YOU ARGUE WITH TEAM THEO!

      LOL

      On the other hand, the Cards know how to win, and they want him.
      Hmmmm. Who is dummy is this situation?

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Navarro will walk if he does not get traded………not part of the future.

    • Dorasaga

      To make ourselves feel better, I’ll think of it this way: Navarro as a hitter has been a platoon player (career above average against LHP, while the other side turned him into Koyie Hill). He’ll be a good problem for another manger (When must I pinch hit?). The Cubs will receive a prospect, and an empty slot on the 40-man roster, end of story.

      • That One Guy

        And by “prospect” we mean a guy in High A with a history of arm issues?

        • paulcatanese

          That could be a reality, did you see the “injured list” on last nights TV?

        • Dorasaga

          Why not? You can’t celebrate with the glass half-full, or at least you won’t cry with gin.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Did not see any Alfonso Soriano notes……hit his 400 HR last night……11 HR and 33 RBI since traded.

    • TheWrongGuy

      August has historically been his HOT hitting month.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Historically, Cubs are out of any pennant race by August….and at times, even by June.

    • paulcatanese

      And I believe, 14 total stolen bases for the year.
      And they did mention him on the air last night.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Question of the day…is Alfonso Soriano a Hall of Famer?…over 2000 hits, 400 HR’s, 1100 RBI’s, 285 stolen bases…..has at least two more years based on this years stats…………now look at HOF Ron Santo stats…….somewhere down the line, Soriano will get in.

    • daverj

      Not a chance soriano gets in to the hall of fame. Santo played in another era so you cant compare their stats. In addition, santo was much, much better on defense.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Santo batted against better pitchers in his time……Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, to name a few.

    • cubtex

      He has a very good chance if he gets to 450 HR’s and 300 SB’s. He has had a hell of a career there is no doubt about that!

      With 285 career stolen bases, Soriano is only 15 away from 300. He
      could easily swipe another 15 bags in his career, as he’s already
      matched that this season. Once he reaches 300, he will become just the fifth player in history to reach 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, joining Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Mays and Alex Rodriguez.

      The seven-time All-Star might not have racked up MVP trophies, but he
      has always been among the game’s best, and his four Silver Slugger
      awards help prove it.

      No one knows if Soriano will be elected. However, he has a good chance to join baseball’s greatest in Cooperstown.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I am glad you brought up the Dawson, Mays, Bonds, A-Rod connection…..I believe another player is in that group.

      • DWalker

        and two of those names will always have a shadow on them, whereas Soriano has never once been connected with roids. His defense won’t help him, but I think in this era, it won’t hurt him all that much. A clean player with those stats in this day and age is truly impressive. And even his defense, he will probably be more remembered for his last few years than the worst days of his ctract with the cubs. The Soriano who goes on the ballot will probably do it in Yankee pinstripes in many voters eyes, and not the Cub from a few years ago. I don’t know if he realy belongs, but I think he is a lot more worthy canidate, both in stats and charachter, than many who will be on the ballot in this era. As much as I advocated dropping him last year, I do feel that the trade that was finally made, was probably not worth it now. I hope to be proven wrong.

        • cubtex

          Too late now :) I was warning everyone. He was and is worth more to this team next year than paying his salary and the return they got. Now that DeJesus is gone, is the outfield so crowded that Soriano couldn’t have been played in LF everyday? Is Bogusevic really a future building block? Cmon.

      • Tony_Hall

        He is not going to the Hall of Fame.

        • cubtex

          thank you for your input Mr. Hall of Fame President. And that was a Pun intended

          • Tony_Hall

            Not bad.

            I believe the HOF is going to be very difficult to get into for quite awhile. The truly elite players will be going in and no more borderline guys will make it for a long time.

            This is a place for the best of the best. Only 300 people are in the HOF and not even 250 players. Over 15,000 players have been in MLB. That equals 1.6% of the players.

            Do you really believe he is in the best 1.6% of players in this ERA? Not even close.

          • cubtex

            Have you not seen his numbers? I know you have a hard on against Soriano…but I bet if you just put up his numbers without a name…you would have a different opinion.

            450 HR 300 SB. Only 4 players in the HISTORY of baseball have done that. But it is Soriano so it isn’t even close. Don’t even bother putting him on the ballot because Tony Hall says it isn’t even close.

          • Tony_Hall

            Since when did 450 HR’s become a bench mark to make the HOF?

            Plus he only has 400 HR’s and only one year left on his contract. No guarantee he is going to get to 450.

            He is not in the TOP 1.6% of players. Tell me you even know that? 750 players in a season, that would be 12 players. Players overlap from year to year. He is just not in that elite of company.

            Hall of Good – YES
            Hall of Ray Ray – right next to Garza.

            Hall of Fame – No chance.

          • cubtex

            You are unbelievable! Once you hate a player you cannot ever be realistic. Are you not reading 1 of 5 players in BASEBALL HISTORY????? Yea. That is not top 1.6% That is more like top 0.001 %

          • Tony_Hall

            He hasn’t done it yet. If he does it, then if there are some old school baseball writers left voting that only look at HR’s/RBI’s and SB”s he could get in…..but I don’t think he can get 75% of the votes needed to get in.

            He is just not Elite.

          • cubtex

            thank god there are still some sane baseball writers left that understand the game. No he hasn’t done it yet but he should get to 300 SB and he is already at 400. I used the 450 benchmark. The 0.001 % I referenced was that of ALL the players who played the game….ONLY 5 have hit 400 HR’s and stolen 300 bases. That is the 0.001 %

          • Tony_Hall

            Thank god their are new baseball writers getting in that understand more than AVG HR’s and RBI’s

          • cubtex

            yea. what’s wrong with people who think getting a ball in the field for a single,double,triple or HR is a good thing. That takes too much skill. Let the player work the count and hope for a walk. Now that is REAL baseball.

          • Tony_Hall

            This is the part that makes you sound so…..old school.

            NO ONE is telling them to try for Walks. Walks are the by product of not swinging at bad pitches and putting yourself in better hitter counts, which will result in a higher average and OBP.

            And yet your continued inability to get this, is so hard to understand.

          • texcubnut

            Boys! Boys! The real question is will Theo go into the Baseball Executive Hall of Fame.?? Ray and Tony, please discuss. Wah ha ha!

          • cubtex

            hahaha. If there was a wing for the most overhyped,overrated starbucks drinking latte executives….Theo would get my vote!

          • texcubnut

            LOL!! C-Tex, you’re all right. :)

          • Tony_Hall

            That is even more select company.

            28 pioneers, executives, and organizers

            But if he does, what we all want him to do (I think cubtex would like to see it) and hoist a World Series trophy, he will probably get elected having won with both the Red Sox and Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Babe, Hank, Gehrig, Soriano…..please top 0.001 would be Top 15 players. Don’t disrespect the all time great, by saying Soriano is even close to them.

    • cubtex

      That begs another question of the day. Has a team EVER traded a player and picked up 90 % of the players salary who had back to back 30 HR years and back to back 100 RBI years???? Seems pretty remarkable if you ask me. Only Miggy Cabrera has hit more HR’s in the second half of this year than Soriano has.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        White Sox picked up 100% of Rios contract….
        All will be forgotten when Corey Black wins game 7 for the Cubs in the WS.

        • cubtex

          Rios didn’t have back to back seasons of 30 and 100.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      I hope so just to make all those idiots that kept booing him and ripping him for his contract eat a big pile of POO!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Soriano is like Paul Konerko. He belongs in the hall of very good. He was great earlier in his career, but since 2009, he’s been a top 50 player at best. That’s not a HOF guy.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Of our bug 4 field prospects, you have to assume at least one will flame out. There is certainly a chance none do, but I read an article about it and the law of averages says 1 will . So of Baez, Bryant, Soler and Almora; which do you guys doubt the most? It’s tough to choose because I believe they will all make it, but if I had to choose one I’f go with Almora. His injuries keep popping up, making me wonder if he’s fragile.

    Anyone care to give thoughts?

    • cubtex

      What I have heard is that most put Soler as having the highest risk of the 4.

      • DWalker

        agreed. Almora’s injuries seem more flukish. Soler though, hasn’t shown much so far, though he was playing injured so maybe he’ll show up next year, but he worries me the most now; and it sounds liek it worries others as well. Baez was looking very high risk earlier in the year, but now looks like he is really getting into a groove. Bryant still concerns a little as to if he can adapt to pro pitching, but right now he looks good and he has much less transition with the new college bats than players used to. I think it highly possibly, maybe even likely, all four spend time in the majors. The question will be how many of them stay there.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’d say Almora. High school prospects always have a better chance of flaming out.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    If the Cards want to give up a quality player then go for it. You can still resign Navarro at years end. He’s a FA.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Are the Cubs keeping Baez at SS….

    A- to put pressure on Castro, hoping he will respond to competition?

    B- To be able to play Baez at SS after they trade Castro?

    C- To be able to play Baez at SS and move Castro to 2B?

    D- None of the above?

    • cubtex

      Manny Machado only played 2 games at 3B in the minors before he was called up to play 3B at the major league level.He played SS his entire minor league career. It does no harm to keep him there. It is not that difficult a transition from SS to 3B if that is what the Cubs are thinking.

      • Tony_Hall

        My son has played SS/2B most of the time. He has been getting some time at 3B here and there, because we have 3 good middle infielders and only he pitches. All 3 get time at 3B, and the hardest thing for all of them to get use to is not reacting to a ball in the OF by going out for the cut. It is actually kind of comical to watch players who have always been in the right spot and know what to do on every play, be out of position.

    • K_Gripp

      C. Castro is going to move to 2nd base. Baez will be at SS. Bryant will be at 3b. Rizzo at 1b.