Navarro, 32, will return to Toronto, where he had played over 2014-15 before joining the South Siders this winter on a one-year, $4MM deal. He’ll presumably function as both a reserve catcher and bench bat for the Jays, who utilize Russell Martin as their starter behind the dish and also have Josh Thole on hand as a receiver.
It’s not yet clear how the playing time will shake out, but the switch-hitting Navarro could nudge the left-handed-hitting Thole out of his role as the primary backup — if not off of the roster entirely. Thole owns a meager .151/.246/.198 slash line over his 124 plate appearances on the season. But he is also the personal catcher for knuckler R.A. Dickey, and with the Jays also in need of another bat off of the bench, it’s possible to imagine both players co-existing on Toronto’s 25-man.
While Navarro has been a solid hitter at times in the past — he put up a composite 107 OPS+ over 2013-15 — this hasn’t been his finest season. He is carrying only a .210/.267/.339 batting line with six home runs in his 298 plate appearances on the year for the White Sox.
Still, Navarro brings a sturdy veteran presence to a familiar clubhouse, and won’t cost much in terms of cash to add to the mix. The remainder of his contract will only cost Toronto around $850K. Plus, with roster set to expand within the week, he won’t clog things up too badly and can add flexibility.
In Turner, the Sox will land a 25-year-old southpaw who has shown some promise at times this year. He was dominant at the High-A level, allowing just two earned runs on 19 hits over 31 2/3 innings while generating 13.4 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. But he has stalled since moving up to Double-A for the first time, where he has been tagged for six earned in 10 1/3 frames with a less-than-stellar 10:8 K/BB ratio.