The Boston Red Sox had some startling news about starting catcher Christian Vazquez being placed on the shelf, with an injury, but they are not panicking.
There have been no signs that the Red Sox are worried about their catcher situation for the start of the regular season. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports recently tweeted:
At the moment, the Toronto Blue Jays have Navarro sitting on their shelf, too. They acquired Canadian Russell Martin from the Pittsburgh Pirates, as a free agent, for the next five years. The three-time All-Star catcher makes Navarro superflous, as Dioner is better than a backup catcher but he is not as good as Martin, at least that must be what the Jays are thinking.
There has been talk about moving Navarro to first base in Toronto, yet the fact that Heyman would tweet about the Red Sox not being linked to him is raising more talk. Why mention that Boston’s not interested in his services if there was no need of them?
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The eleven-year veteran catcher from Venezuela played above expectations, last season, for the Blue Jays. Navarro hit .274, with 12 home runs and 69 RBIS, the most runs that he has ever batted home in his career. He, too, was an All-Star, coming in 2008, but always seemed to find himself being a backup catcher for multiple teams, being kicked around both major leagues. Nobody in Toronto thought that was going to happen again, until Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos made the shocking deal for Martin.
According to FanGraphs.com, Navarro was at his best when at the plate with runners in scoring position. He hit .343, with a .382 on-base percentage and slugged .500. It was like he would do anything to move the runner, doing what was best for the team, instead of trying to raise his own batting numbers. Funny how they went up, anyways. Young people should try to remember that.
If the Red Sox did not have a plan, this lack of desire for Navarro would make no sense at all. He is a good catcher who can also hit well. He would also be frustrated with his current team, being sidelined once again, after giving everything he had to the team that seemed to need him. Bringing a quality player from a division rival would be a great resource. Navarro would know many of their pitching staff’s tendencies and would be passionately spurred to drive in runs with Red Sox in scoring position. He could be an excellent fit.
The plan must be one that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington believes in heavily. It’s not like the Red Sox are out of catchers. Between Ryan Hanigan, Humberto Quintero, and top catching prospect Blake Swihart, there are plenty to choose as a replacement. Vazquez’s injury placed him out on the 60-Day list, but it’s not like he’s never coming back. Â All that would happen is that Navarro would feel frustrated with yet another team, whom has a couple of younger catchers to replace him.
Both Vazquez and Swihart are not ready, but they will be. If the plan is for the long term, you can’t make the trade. If you want to win right now, Navarro seems like an excellent alternative to backup catchers like Hanigan and Quintero. Navarro has proven that he can be the everyday starter for any MLB team that wants him. Apparently, the Blue Jays and Red Sox don’t want that to happen for them.
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