The Chicago White Sox are headed into 2016 with a new catching duo. The team has signed veteran catcher Dioner Navarro to a one year deal. He will share time with recently signed catcher and former All-Star Alex Avila.
Navarro’s departure from his previous team, the Toronto Blue Jays, was probably expected. Reports surfaced last offseason that he wanted a trade out of Toronto because he wanted to start and felt we wasn’t going to get that opportunity after the team signed Russell Martin. He later declined that report, saying he was going to do his best to contribute to the team.
Navarro played in only 54 games last year, way down from the 139 he played in 2014. He hit five homers and 20 RBIs in 171 plate appearances. He isn’t the best offensive catcher, but he had a decent swing. He is a reliable defensive catcher. The Jays used him as a DH last year, so we didn’t get to see his defensive ability.
This is a decent pickup. I don’t see how Navarro will exactly push the Sox over the top, but he’s a veteran backup who can give Avila some tips and help him go along in his career. I do wonder if the ChiSox will use Navarro as a DH at all or if they will just keep him as backup catcher.