It hasn’t exactly been a storybook title defense for the Boston Red Sox so far in 2014, and that has certainly extended to outfielder Daniel Nava. In that vein, the 31-year-old has reportedly been optioned to triple-A Pawtucket in order to make room for right-handed pitcher Alex Wilson.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) April 23, 2014
Nava has struggled mightily this season, and the statistics bear that out with a hideous slash line of .149/.240/.269 in 75 plate appearances. Still, this seems like a bit of a quick trigger for the 9-12 Red Sox, especially when Nava was incredibly productive in a nearly full-time role during their World Series run in 2013.
Last season, the late-blooming outfielder put up a stellar .385 on-base percentage (to go with a very nice .303 batting average in its own right), and while he doesn’t have a ton of power (21 home runs in 1,116 MLB plate appearances), there is always a market for a player who can get on base at that clip. The writing was on the wall for this with the highly-paid Shane Victorino on the way, but at this point, there isn’t a ton of evidence that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is a better player than Nava, and this has to be disappointing for the veteran.
The Red Sox could look to trade him, but it equally likely that they hold on to him for insurance down the line. Stay tuned.