Dioner Navarro Rumors
An action-packed set of links for Wednesday...
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report about MLB teams, the Cubs included, watching Chunichi Dragons pitcher Wei-Yin Chen's last start. It's possible Chen will be a free agent after the season. The Taiwanese southpaw has a 1.45 ERA this year and would be in high demand.
- MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone does not believe the team will non-tender starter John Maine after the season. Maine, coming back from a shoulder injury, may start Sunday.
- SNY's Ted Berg says this is a terrible time to trade Jose Reyes.
- R.J. Anderson of DRays Bay sees a trade more likely than a non-tender for catcher Dioner Navarro.
- Over at FanGraphs, Anderson notes that Kiko Calero (10.8 K/9) is a "nice sleeper candidate" among free agent relievers. Calero's strikeout rate ranks behind only Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzalez, Rich Harden, and Octavio Dotel among free agent pitchers with at least 40 innings.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck the Magglio Ordonez vesting option situation "speaks for itself." 23 more plate appearances for Maggs, and the Tigers have him at $18MM for 2010.
- Among the topics in Mark Gonzales' Chicago Tribune White Sox mailbag: the Brandon Allen-Tony Pena swap and the possibility of the Sox pursuing Chone Figgins. In another article, Gonzales notes that Ozzie Guillen wants Freddy Garcia ($1MM club option) as his fifth starter next year.
- Jack Curry of the New York Times has the story on the Newark Bears, and independent league club that has chosen to stock its roster with recognizable former big leaguers trying to claw their way back to the Show.
- An AL scout told Tom Krasovic "Oakland got smoked" in the Scott Hairston trade. The Padres received pitchers Sean Gallagher, Ryan Webb, and Craig Italiano in the July 5th trade (Gallagher was named later).
- WEEI's Alex Speier says the Red Sox announced the signing of Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias to a four-year Major League deal beginning next year (it's worth $8.25MM).
TUESDAY: ESPN reports that Navarro lost his case and will earn $2.1MM in '09. No hard feelings, says his agent.
MONDAY: According to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, the Rays and catcher Dioner Navarro went to a salary arbitration hearing on Monday.
Navarro asked for $2.5MM and the club offered $2.1MM back when figures were due. Three arbitrators will decide which number he recieves on Tuesday. Navarro is the second MLB player to have a hearing this year, following Nationals pitcher Shawn Hill, who won his hearing over the weekend.
2:22pm: A quote from Navarro's agent Kendall Almerico, via Topkin:
"It appears that we have reached an impasse and that we will be going to arbitration on Monday. After that, I hope to resume negotiations on a long-term deal so Navi can play in Tampa for the rest of his career. But that may depend on how the Rays present their case and whether the Rays treat Navi respectfully at the hearing as Navi has instructed us to treat the Rays throughout this entire process."
11:04am: According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays are still in talks with their two remaining arbitration-eligible players, Dioner Navarro and Willy Aybar.
The Rays are only $150K apart with Aybar, and the sides are discussing a possible two-year deal. Aybar, a Super Two player, is under team control through 2012.
Navarro faces a $400K gap with the Rays, and they're also discussing multiyear possibilities. He's under team control through 2011.
According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays are looking at multiyear deals for Dioner Navarro and Willy Aybar.
DRaysBay echoes Tampa Bay's desire to lock up the two, which would allow the team to avoid arbitration hearings.
Navarro will have three arbitration years: '09, '10 and '11; and Aybar will have four years: '09, '10, '11 and '12. The Rays, who don't typically negotiate once arbitration figures have been submitted, appear to be willing to negotiate with these two.
The Tampa Tribune's Marc Topkin reports that the Rays and catcher Dioner Navarro have an arbitration hearing date set for February 9.
Navarro's representatives have requested $2.5MM and the Rays have offered him $2.1MM. An arbitrator will decide between one of the two figures and announce his decision a few days after the hearing. Navarro hit .295/.349/.407 last season with seven dingers and 54 RBI.
12:11pm: The noon filing deadline passed without an agreement for Navarro or Aybar, so Marc Topkin anticipates hearings for both.
10:50am: According to Marc Topkin, the Rays avoided arbitration with shortstop Jason Bartlett by signing him at $1.98125MM for '09. Bartlett is under team control through 2011. The Rays' other two arb-eligibles are Dioner Navarro and Willy Aybar; they're making progress with Navarro. The Rays have a policy of not negotiating once figures are exchanged.
According to Marc Topkin, three Rays players appear headed for February arbitration hearings: Willy Aybar, Jason Bartlett, and Dioner Navarro. The Rays have a policy of ending talks when figures are exchanged, and that happens Tuesday.
After successfully completing the Danys Baez trade in January, the Dodgers and Devil Rays have matched up again on a multi-player swap. This time L.A. sent Jae Seo, Dioner Navarro, and a PTBNL to the D-Rays for Toby Hall and Mark Hendrickson.
With a .258 batting average on balls in play, Hendrickson has been the 11th luckiest starter in baseball this year. Given the D-Rays' team BABIP of .316, we can be fairly confident that the 32 year-old southpaw will not maintain his hit rate of 8.13 per nine. His peripherals are otherwise unimpressive - 3.4 BB/9, 5.1 K/9, 1.0 HR/9. Prior to this season, Hendrickson had allowed almost 11 hits per nine innings in the Majors. His control is better than this, but he's in for a steep decline overall.
Despite an ERA near 6, I'm not sure Jae Seo is much worse than Hendrickson. Though no one seems to trust Seo to succeed, he has managed a 3.85 career ERA in almost 400 innings leading up to this season. Hendrickson doesn't seem like a significant upgrade, especially half a season worth of him.
The exchange of Toby Hall for Dioner Navarro is another clear win for Tampa Bay. Navarro is still just 22 and hasn't had a full trial in the Majors. Any backstop that young who can draw a walk 10% of the time has value.
I think this is a disappointing move for the Dodgers. While it's true they may not miss Navarro or Seo, Hendrickson is not the #3 starter the team needs to run away with the NL West.
Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News reported a new Danys Baez rumor today. Apparently, the Dodgers have inquired on him given Eric Gagne's impending free agency. Of course, Baez is due for a big contract himself when he hits free agency after 2006.
These talks are still preliminary, but I was able to uncover some more info from a source close to the Devil Rays. Word from that end is that Edwin Jackson and Dioner Navarro would go to Tampa Bay in a deal for Baez and Toby Hall. The Dodgers may find Navarro expendable with top prospect Russell Martin perhaps a year away.