Nava, who’ll turn 35 in a few weeks, had a nice bounceback campaign last year with the cross-state Phillies. He was limited to eighty games of action owing to injuries, which also perhaps prevented him from being dealt to a contender in the middle of the season, but turned in an undeniably productive overall effort.
Over 214 total plate appearances, Nava slashed a robust .301/.393/.421. Though he managed only four home runs, he exhibited a command of the strike zone (just 38 strikeouts with 26 walks) of the type that led to his prior MLB success.
Of course, teams were no doubt also wary given that Nava had struggled over the prior several campaigns. While he grades as a solid defender in the corner outfield, he isn’t exactly a prime asset with the glove. And Nava is pretty clearly a strict platoon asset: the switch-hitter has long been far more successful against right-handed than left-handed pitching.
For the Bucs, those limitations are just fine. As middling as his production has been against southpaws, Nava dominated (.341/.423/.474) when hitting with the platoon advantage last year. He ought to have a fair shot at earning a MLB roster spot in camp. Odds are — as the Pirates’ updated depth chart suggests — he’ll end up in a time share in the corner outfield.