The Cubs have designated outfielder Efren Navarro for assignment, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. In his stead, the club has selected the contract of catcher Chris Gimenez. Fellow catcher Victor Caratini has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa in a related move.
The move probably isn’t related to the performance of Caratini (though he’s hardly lighting the world on fire with his .264/.304/.308 batting line) as much as it is to the contract situation of Gimenez. As Muskat notes in a separate tweet, the latter had an opt-out clause in his contract that he could have used if he wasn’t on the big league roster by June 1st. Navarro, then, may simply be a casualty created by the Cubs’ desire to preserve their catching depth.
Navarro’s actually played in parts of six seasons with the Angels, Tigers and Cubs, though he’s amassed just 355 plate appearances and posted a meager 77 wRC+ during that time. That’s obviously not particularly impressive, but even a 0.4 fWAR career to date is probably better than odds would suggest for a 50th round draft pick.
Gimenez, meanwhile, is an interesting add to the MLB roster if only for his relationship with struggling ace Yu Darvish. The two played together for the Rangers during parts of two seasons, and have a close relationship with each other. Perhaps working with Gimenez could go a little ways towards helping Darvish get back on track, though that’s obviously a largely intangible factor.