According to multiple reports including one from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, catcher Dioner Navarro has reached a two-year, $8 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and will return to the AL East after bouncing around the National League the last three seasons.
Navarro is expected to be the primary catcher for Toronto meaning J.P. Arencibia will most likely be moved in a trade. Arencibia was a high-power, low-average option at catches and Navarro is the opposite in many ways.
Navarro is coming off a well above-average year this past season in which he hit a career-high 13 home runs despite playing in only 89 games. He also managed to hit .300 in those games with 34 RBI, only 36 K’s, and a solid OPS of .856. Expecting him to duplicate those numbers is probably optimistic, but he is moving to a hitter-friendly park and should be a regular part of a relatively solid lineup.
He should enjoy his new home ballpark since he’s fared well there in the past. In 101 AB’s he had a .298 average at Rogers Centre with three doubles and a home run to go with seven RBI.
Navarro is decent backstop option as long as he is the regular starter in Toronto. He isn’t an elite catcher you have to go after early, but if you find yourself looking at catching options late make sure to check if he’s available. If he can stay healthy and make a full season’s worth of starts, I think he’ll be a top-12 catcher.