Switch-hitting catcher Dioner Navarro is a “name to keep an eye on” in connection to the White Sox, says Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (links to Twitter). The sense among competitors for Navarro’s services is that something could come together quickly between Navarro and the ChiSox now that Tyler Flowers has been non-tendered, according to Passan, who calls Navarro the “top” offensive catcher on the market. I’d posit that Wilin Rosario certainly gives Navarro a run for his money in that regard, though Navarro probably comes with the better defensive reputation of the two. Regardless, a match between the Sox and Navarro certainly seems plausible.
A few more notes on some various free agents for those who are joining me in the realm of insomnia…
- MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the Athletics are interested in right-hander Ryan Madson, with one source telling her that the A’s are a “legitimate suitor” for Madson’s services. Oakland is “square in the mix” for Madson, says Lee’s source. She notes that the former Phillies closer, who enjoyed a brilliant bounceback campaign in Kansas City this past season, is looking for a multi-year deal. While Oakland has already picked up reliever Liam Hendriks from Toronto, Lee writes that the team isn’t shying away from the concept of adding another relief arm. She adds that GM David Forst has stated that payroll won’t be a deterrent in the team’s pursuit of an additional setup arm.
- The Giants still haven’t engaged in talks with right-hander Mike Leake, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. While San Francisco is widely believed to be interested in retaining the right-hander it acquired in late July, Schulman says the belief is that the team’s pursuit of ace Zack Greinke needs to be resolved before a serious effort to re-sign Leake is made. Greinke is reportedly deciding between the Giants and his former club (and San Francisco division rival), the Dodgers.
- The Blue Jays and Royals are among the clubs monitoring the market for right-hander Joakim Soria, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). The Tigers are out of the mix for Soria after acquiring Francisco Rodriguez, he adds. Both Toronto and K.C. are known to be interested in relief help, though a recent report from Crasnick indicated that the Blue Jays aren’t inclined to pay top dollar for any bullpen arms right now, and Soria is reportedly seeking a $27MM total over a three-year span, which seems to make the two an unlikely match.
- CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes tweets that the White Sox’ decision to non-tender Flowers might have been a blessing in disguise for the catcher. One scout texted Hayes shortly after the news of Flowers’ non-tender broke, telling Hayes that Flowers “should thank” the White Sox for cutting him loose, because his belief is that Flowers will get more than his projected $3.5MM arbitration salary in this market. That seems potentially steep to me, considering the fact that Alex Avila and Geovany Soto have both signed for under $3MM, but Flowers did post standout framing numbers last year and does have some pop, so clubs are sure to be interested. If nothing else, he could probably surpass that number by way of incentives in a one-year deal with a new club.