The Toronto Blue Jays have just made their first off-season splash and finally one of the main three needs that they have been discussing has been filled! The Jays have just agreed to a 2-year deal with 29-yr old Venezuelan FA Catcher Dioner Navarro. The deal is said to be worth about $8 Million, and is now only pending a physical for full approval.
Navarro has spent his share of time in the minors but in 89 Games last season managed to hit .300 and belt 13 HR and 34 RBIs. Also he is relatively young. This means the end of the line (most likely) for JP Arencibia (JPA). In terms of a scouting report on the recently acquired Catcher the Jays can expect a player that can: hit from either side of the plate (Switch Hitter), show discipline (doesn’t strike out often) and has been previously named to the All Star Game (2008).
However one thing has been lost in this decision. TSN’s scouting report (http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=3668) suggests that although he can handle a pitching staff, his defensive game could use some work. Is that not the reason Alex Anthopoulos (AA) went out to seek a Defensive upgrade as JPA has been often labelled as a defensive liability? This is a bit puzzling. Indeed we have gone from a 20 HR hitter with big RBI potential (although extremely streaky) to a guy that has shown recent potential to be more disciplined at the plate, but still may be a defensive liability. Not sure I agree with this move.
However reports have also suggested that the Jays do intend to hang on to Josh Thole as a dedicated guy for RA Dickey. Will Dioner be able to improve defensively or at least be an improvement over JP? Im not quite sure. But this move does one thing for the Jays, frees up JP for trade to another club in return the Jays could land a big fish 2B or SP which will cover their other needs!
Bluebirds nation its time for you to chime in! What are your thoughts on what this deal does for the Jays? Was it the right move? Did AA mess this up; should the Jays now be able to let go of JP? Leave your comments below -Thanks!