The Phillies announced on Friday that outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava has been activated from the disabled list. The 34-year-old Nava missed nearly two weeks with a lower back strain.
While the activation of a veteran role player from the disabled list isn’t necessarily significant in a vacuum, Nava’s return stands out a bit more due to his status as a fairly straightforward trade candidate for the Phillies. Prior to landing on the DL, Nava ranked near the top of MLBTR’s weekly ranking of August trade candidates owing to his affordable $1.35MM salary and his solid .298/.390/.427 batting line through 200 plate appearances.
Nava will now have at least a few days to demonstrate his health to contenders seeking a veteran bench bat for the stretch run. While he won’t command a significant return, the switch-hitter’s .347/.427/.492 slash through 143 plate appearances from the left side of the plate ought to hold some level of allure for clubs looking to round out a roster down the stretch and into the postseason. Nava holds a career .281/.374/.405 batting line as a left-handed hitter, though he has posted fairly weak numbers as a right-handed hitter both in 2017 and throughout his career.
Nava will earn only another $273K through the end of the season, so his salary shouldn’t be difficult to fit for many teams. While any acquisition requires a 40-man spot, clubs won’t need to worry much about active roster space with September about a week away. A niche player such as Nava can have added value, in the right circumstances, at this stage of the season — when active roster limitations go out the window and every edge is needed to eke out wins.