Dioner Navarro Rumors

Angels Interested In Dioner Navarro

The Angels have interest in free agent catcher Dioner Navarro, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Chris Iannetta figures to get most of the playing time behind the plate in Anaheim, with former Angels catcher Jeff Mathis on the Blue Jays' roster.

Navarro, 27, signed a one-year, $1MM deal with the Dodgers a year ago. He posted a .193/.276/.324 line in 202 plate appearances for the Dodgers this past season, preventing 14 of 55 stolen base attempts against him. He hasn't posted an OPS over .600 since making the All-Star team as a member of the 2008 Rays.

The Angels' interest in Navarro indicates the team is open to options other than Hank Conger and Bobby Wilson. Both backstops appeared in 50-plus games in 2011, though the offense Conger provided as a minor leaguer has yet to translate to the Major Leagues.

Rockies Inquired On Navarro, Hawkins, Broxton

We learned earlier today that the Rockies are considering free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez. Here’s more on the team’s free agent options, via Troy Renck of the Denver Post:

  • The Rockies are exploring trades for Ian Stewart and the Cubs have at least some interest, according to Renck (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies have also inquired on free agent backstop Dioner Navarro as a potential backup (Twitter link). Navarro, 27, posted a .193/.276/.324 line in 202 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2011. He hasn't posted an OPS over .600 since making the All-Star team as a member of the 2008 Rays.
  • If the Rockies sign Hernandez, they would look to trade Chris Iannetta, according to Renck. Iannetta interests the Angels and other clubs have called about him in the past.
  • The Rockies have called to inquire on free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Broxton, Renck writes. Broxton will likely decide on his next team soon and Hawkins is drawing interest from multiple teams, according to Renck. Rafael Betancourt is set to become the closer if the Rockies trade Huston Street. Be sure to visit CloserNews.com for reliever-related fantasy news and analysis.

Dodgers Designate Dioner Navarro For Assignment

The Dodgers designated catcher Dioner Navarro for assignment, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). Los Angeles recalled A.J. Ellis in a corresponding move, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick (on Twitter).

Navarro signed a one-year, $1MM deal with the Dodgers in December soon after the Rays non-tendered him. The 27-year-old posted a .193/.276/.324 line in 202 plate appearances in his second stint with L.A. He hit five homers, but caught just 25% of would-be base stealers.

Dodgers Sign Dioner Navarro

The Dodgers signed Dioner Navarro, the team announced. He'll earn $1MM, according to the Associated Press (via the Miami Herald).

The Rays non-tendered the former Dodger earlier in the month after his tenure in Tampa Bay ended poorly. Navarro made the All-Star team in 2008, when he batted .295/.349/.407, but his line is just .212/.263/.306 in 552 plate appearances since.

GM Ned Colletti says the Dodgers "are comfortable with how [Navarro] handles a pitching staff,” calling the 26-year-old a “solid Major League catcher."

Navarro joined the Dodgers in '05 as part of the Shawn Green trade with Arizona, but then was shipped to Tampa Bay the following year. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times first reported the Dodgers' agreement with Navarro (on Twitter).

Dodgers Close To Signing Dioner Navarro

The Dodgers are close to signing Dioner Navarro, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). The Rays non-tendered the former Dodger last week after his tenure in Tampa Bay ended on a sour note.

Mets, Rockies Talking To Ronny Paulino

4:41pm: The Mets are talking to Paulino about a one-year deal worth $1.3MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

3:51pm: The Rockies, who have been linked to a number of free agent catchers, are exchanging offers with Paulino, according to Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

11:13am: The Mets are in on a group of right-handed hitting catchers such as Paulino, Gerald Laird, Miguel Olivo, Russell Martin, and Dioner Navarro, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  They prefer a one-year deal.

10:11am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets are still talking to a lot of catcher possibilities, Paulino included (Twitter link).

8:45am: The Mets are closing in on catcher Ronny Paulino, reports ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.  New manager Terry Collins has described Josh Thole as a "number one catcher," so presumably Paulino will serve as his backup.

Paulino, recently non-tendered by the Marlins, hit .259/.311/.354 in 316 plate appearances this year while catching 740 1/3 innings.  He was hit with a 50-game PED suspension in August.

American League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.

Dioner Navarro Leaves Rays

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.

Odds & Ends: Rincon, Calero, Rangers, Encarnacion

Here are some links to kick off the weekend…

  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post provides the details on Juan Rincon's contract with the Rockies. He'll earn $800K plus incentives in the big leagues, or $20K per month in the minors.
  • Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score wonders why we haven't heard more about Kiko Calero this offseason. The Cubs and Giants were interested in the righthander at various times this offseason.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reiterates what we heard yesterday: the Rangers are seeking a veteran catcher. He mentions that they've shown interest in both Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro.
  • Edwin Encarnacion suffered burns to his face in a fireworks accident according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas. He will not require surgery, and will be ready to go in Spring Training.
  • Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports lists ten players we should keep an on eye to see how their market develops during the remainder of the offseason. His list is led by Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman.
  • MLB.com's Matthew Leach notes that if the Cardinals felt they weren't in a good position to re-sign Holliday, they would have moved on to other targets by now. 
  • Dick Kaegel of MLB.com says that "it would take a calamitous showing" for Royals' manager Trey Hillman to lose his job this season given his relationship with GM Dayton Moore.
  • Steve Slowinski at DRaysBay goes back in time to evaluate the Danys Baez and Lance Carter for Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany trade.

Players Tendered Contracts

Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.