Though Daniel Nava has yet to be placed on waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, he’s already begun to draw trade interest from the Royals and Tigers as the AL Central frontrunners each search for a bat to add to their lineup (Twitter link).
The 31-year-old Nava is hitting just .248/.327/.310 this season, but he carries a significant platoon split and would likely see his overall numbers improve were he to face only right-handed pitching. Nava is a switch-hitter by trade, but his lifetime .207/.287/.300 batting line as a right-handed hitter is unimpressive, to say the least. However, he boasts a .289/.384/.422 triple-slash in his career as a left-handed hitter and is slashing .276/.360/.346 from that side of the dish in 2014. Beyond that, Defensive Runs Saved is a fan of his career work at both outfield corners. Ultimate Zone Rating doesn’t like his glove in left field but has been positive regarding his work as a right fielder.
The Royals could look at Nava as a upgrade (both offensively and defensively) over veteran Raul Ibanez, who has batted a paltry .193/.233/.386 in 60 plate appearances since returning to the team. While Nava’s struggles from the right side make it seem counterintuitive to suggest that he could form a platoon with Nori Aoki, Kansas City could make such an alignment work. Nava could receive the bulk of playing time against right-handed pitching because Aoki, despite being a lefty swinger, has much better career numbers versus southpaws. He’s hit lefties at a .337/.410/.404 clip in 2014 and a .311/.363/.396 clip since jumping from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball to the Major Leagues.
Detroit’s interest in Nava isn’t entirely surprising, given the fact that Andy Dirks sustained a setback in his rehab from back surgery last week (as reported by MLB.com’s Jason Beck). Dirks reportedly strained his left hamstring, and the Tigers aren’t sure when exactly he will be able to get back into games. As such, Nava presents a solid option against right-handed hitters with solid corner outfield defense — a skill-set not dissimilar to that of Dirks. He could pick up some of Torii Hunter’s at-bats against right-handed pitching, as the veteran outfielder has seen his numbers against right-handers decline (along with his once highly regarded defense). Hunter is hitting just .257 with a .294 OBP against righties this year, though his .438 slugging percentage and 181 isolated power mark against them are both plenty respectable.
As it stands, the Royals would have first crack at Nava on waivers, as they’re a half-game behind the Tigers in what has become a surprisingly tight AL Central race. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Nava would make it to either club, as he would first need to go unclaimed by the Rangers, Astros, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox, Rays, Indians, Yankees, Blue Jays and Mariners — in that order — to reach either AL Central contender. Nava will be arbitration eligible for just the first time this winter and is under control through the 2017 season, so it’s certainly possible that a different AL club would have interest in claiming him. The Indians, for example, who are just five and a half games back in the division, could claim Nava simply to block their rivals from acquiring him. There’d be little risk for Cleveland, given Nava’s modest $557K salary in 2014.
I think that it should be mentioned his solid stats would be much better if he wasn’t hitting .100 the first month of the season.
Isn’t that like saying he would be a lot better if only he was better?
Not really, I’m just pointing out his stats are not indicative of his current production due to the rough start.
Baseball is a streaky sport. He had a bad first month but has been better since.
The Twins lack a lot of outfield depth, especially with recent injuries and general soreness, I doubt Nava makes it past them.
Think the Twins are even looking to to add players at this point?
They’ve been playing Schafer every day for the last couple of days, with Arcia sitting out and possibly going to the DL. I think they’d prefer adding another non-prospect to hold down the fort and maybe use next year then call up prospects they want to give regular at bats.
I doubt the Red Sox would put him on waivers anyway, even if he gets crowded out of a starting role again his versatility, OBP/pitch-eating skills, attitude and especially cheap team control for 3 more seasons make him incredibly valuable to the Red Sox even as a 4th outfielder/backup 1st basemen.
I understand the need as a Tigers fan, but the .248 average with Nava is extremely concerning. Part of the reason we’re struggling is because our offense is not hitting, despite Max, Porcello, and Verlander putting up good outings in NYY last week.
He’d be used for platoon situations hitting as a lefty. .276/.360/.346
They need a big bat and a strong arm and toss in a big Clive too
As a Red Sox fan I don’t want you to get him as he’s my favorite personality in baseball (go read his story if you don’t know anything about him) but you can’t take that number in a vacuum. He started the season getting his head messed with as the Red Sox idiotically tried crowding him out by trying out Grady Sizemore and taking too long to DFA the bum. Look at what he’s done since the end of May.
Hell, look at what he did last year, the only outfielder in MLB with a higher OBP was Mike Trout.
He does need to give up being a switch hitter though, last year he hit .335 as a lefty, he could have threatened for the batting title if he’d stop looking foolish right handed.
It’d be quite a twist if the Red Sox claimed Nava off waivers…
I was thinking the same thing, but Billy Beane did just trade for a guy he had recently released so I guess you never know.
I am waiting for the first Red Sox fan to post that Nava should only be traded in a package for Stanton.
Or the first Red Sox fan to notice that he could be claimed by the Red Sox per the post
I’ll say it, just for fun…Nava and any 2 or 3 other scrubs the Sox put on waivers straight up for Giancarlo. Of course, the Marlins will jump at the chance to deal the face of their franchise because entitled Boston fans want it to happen.
Sox are going to get Stanton,But its going to cost,…possibly 2 rookie starters
C Vasquez SS Bogaerts and a couple of top prospects …BET ON IT
I think it’s reasonable to look at dealing Nava. He’s one of my favorite players on the Sox, but it looks as though he doesn’t have much of a place to play now that Craig and Cespedes are in the fold along with Victorino, Bradley, Betts, and Hassan.
It’s definitely worth listening on Nava. He’s still under team control and very reasonably priced. you would have to think the arbitration numbers wouldn’t be too high next year either. He has to have some value. And the Red Sox have enough outfielders for the time being, you’d have to figure there won’t be much playing time for Nava once Craig is back.
They can’t seriously plan on playing Cespedes in right at Fenway long term, I think Craig is being groomed to replace Napoli possibly by trading Nap, but he has to get his act together or he’ll be shipped right back out of town himself.
Even as a 4th outfielder Nava’s far too valuable for the Sox to throw him away for waiver trade scraps. His on base abilities, versatility and inexpensive team control for 3 seasons are more worthwhile than what they’d be likely to get.
Right which is why I said to listen. If you’re not made a descent offer you don’t make the trade. Even if you don’t plan on playing Cespedes long term in right field you have Betts and Holt who are either capable of playing there now or will be next year. The Red Sox have a ton of outfielders right now, and it’s silly to overvalue a platoon hitter who has lost any trace of power he had last year.
Tigers need another .270 outfielder like they need another another .250 infielder, or another .220 catcher. Correct their bullpen should be number one priority.
No, they really do need somebody who can hit RHP. Aside from this year, Nava has mashed righties. Just needs to be used properly.
Aside from this year Miggy C. was slamming the ball over the fence regularly. Aside from this year Joe N. was breezing through the ninth inning on 10 pitches. The tigers will not win on previous years records.
There’s a big difference between Cabrera/Nava and Joe Nathan: age
Well Nava works the count gets some timely hits …a bit overlooked not overrated…I kind of hope we keep him!_
I’m with you. I like Nava a lot. Down the road, he could be more valuable than Craig. He gets on base.
Vandals Took The Handles
Considering the fact that the Tigers bullpen has been bowing games at an epidemic rate all yer and that it’s getting worse, I have no idea why they’e putting a spare OF as their top priority.
Geez, their bullpen blew the last 2 games and they’re looking to acquire Daniel Nava?
Make little sense for Royals. They need right handed bat, not left handed bat.
Has to be Tigers now. Royals just traded for Willingham.
Nava would never get through waivers for KC or Detroit. Last year he hit .300, he is a solid outfielder, taught himself to play first so that he could spell Napoli, AND has a cheap salary with control for several years. A lot of teams who are not contenders this year would be thrilled to pick up Nava. I personally would be sad to see him leave Boston, and still remember his first at-bat for the Red Sox: grand slam on the first pitch!
Tito loves Nava. He’s going to Cleveland.
I think that this is the most anyone’s written about Daniel Nava since he was in Babe Ruth league.
Not,exactly ,In his first MLB at bat and on first pitch Nava hit Grand Slam “He’s in record books” got a lot of print for that..
Tigers are now behind the royals, so they get first dibs between those two teams.