4:25pm: Whatever Detroit has done internally, it has not yet chatted with Toronto about a deal involving Navarro, Sportsnet broadcaster Mike Wilner tweets.
3:04pm: Following the news that Victor Martinez has a torn medial meniscus and will undergo surgery tomorrow that makes him highly unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair reports that the Tigers have had internal discussions about pursuing a trade for Dioner Navarro. According to Blair, Toronto won’t move Navarro without receiving pitching in return.
The fit is at least somewhat curious, as Martinez wasn’t expected to catch much anyhow — perhaps only in interleague series that take place in NL parks, manager Brad Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press in late January. Beyond that, Detroit and Toronto share perhaps the same Achilles Heel in the form of relief pitching. The Blue Jays have been eyeing bullpen help for the better part of a month, and the Tigers’ shaky bullpen was their downfall in last year’s ALDS. It seems unlikely that Detroit would willingly deplete its bullpen depth in order to facilitate a trade. Then again, the Blue Jays could theoretically move Navarro for minor league pitching and use the $5MM savings to increase their pursuit of a free agent such as Francisco Rodriguez or a trade target like Jonathan Papelbon, though that’s one hundred percent speculative.
Navarro, who turns 31 today, enjoyed a solid season at the plate in his first year with the Blue Jays, hitting .274/.317/.395 with 12 homers. He’s been an oft-mentioned trade candidate this winter following Toronto’s signing of Russell Martin to a five-year deal, but recent indications have been that he will open the season with Toronto. Navarro will earn $5MM in the second season of a two-year, $8MM contract in 2015.