The Pirates have agreed to a new contract with outfielder Daniel Nava, The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel reports (Twitter link). As expected, the pact is a minor league deal, according to Liz Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Bucs released Nava earlier this week but it was widely expected that the two sides would work out another agreement.
It will still be some time before Nava hits the field, as he underwent back surgery in late February that carried a 10-to-12 week recovery timeline. Back and hamstring problems limited Nava to just 214 plate appearances in a part-time role for the Phillies last season, though the veteran made the most of his playing time, hitting .301/.393/.421 with four homers and displaying good plate discipline (26 walks against just 38 strikeouts). It was a solid comeback year for Nava, who bounced around between four different organizations in 2015-16 and managed just a .574 OPS over 314 big league PA.
The Pirates’ addition of Corey Dickerson dimmed Nava’s chances of regular playing time on the 25-man roster, though the 35-year-old Nava still carries value as a backup and pinch-hit option against right-handed pitching. Nava will surely be placed on the 60-day DL as he continues to recover from his surgery, so the signing won’t require Pittsburgh to make any 40-man roster moves.