Before the playoffs began, it seemed unlikely that the Rays would need Dioner Navarro in 2011. The catcher’s chances of returning now appear even slimmer, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Navarro, who wasn’t on the postseason roster for the Division Series, told the Rays he was going home, even though the organization asked him to stay with the team and work out in case of an injury.
Navarro earned $2.1MM this year in his second season as an arbitration eligible player. He spent about a third of the year in the minors, partly because he hit just .194/.270/.258 and partly because of John Jaso’s emergence.
Jaso and Kelly Shoppach (already under contract for 2011) give the Rays two catchers, so they don’t need Navarro. The 26-year-old is just two seasons removed from an All-Star game selection, but he has shown little pop since.
The Dodgers, Marlins, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox and Padres are among the teams that could be looking for catching depth this winter. At this point, Navarro is coming off of a second consecutive disappointing season and appears to be at odds with the Rays, so his trade value has dropped substantially. It appears likely that the Rays will instead non-tender Navarro this offseason.