The Pirates have released outfielder Daniel Nava, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The 35-year-old veteran signed a minor league deal with Pittsburgh last month but his chances of winning a job dimmed after the Pirate acquired Corey Dickerson. If the roster crunch wasn’t enough, Nava underwent back surgery in late February, sidelining him for a projected 10-to-12 weeks.
This might not be the end of Nava’s days in Pittsburgh, however, as Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters (including Liz Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) that he hopes to re-sign Nava to a new deal “to continue his rehab and hopefully help our Major League club later this summer.” A reunion certainly seems possible, as Nava might prefer to take a new contract now rather than wait until he is healthy to explore options with other teams.
Whatever the scenario, the outfielder will surely draw some interest given his strong track record against right-handed pitching. The switch-hitting Nava owns a .281/.374/.404 slash line in 1541 career plate appearances against righties, and he enjoyed a solid (albeit injury-shortened) season with the Phillies in 2017. Nava hit .301/.393/.421 in 214 PA for the Phils, reviving his career after struggling through lackluster years in 2015-16.