2016 Blue Jays Season Review: Dioner Navarro

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By: Jay Blue and @JaysGirlEmily

Blue Jays From Away

Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.

The Blue Jays’ starting catcher in 2014, Navarro accepted a backup role in 2015 as the Jays brought in All-Star Russell Martin to take over the main duties behind the plate despite a decent year from Navarro as a 31-year-old. With his job usurped by Martin, Navarro elected to head elsewhere for a chance to play every day and signed a free agent deal with the Chicago White Sox for $4 million.

Navarro played 85 games for the White Sox, hitting just .210/.267/.333 and throwing out 20% of potential base stealers, making him prime trade bait during the waiver trade period of the month of August. The Blue Jays made the deal for him, giving up only minor league pitcher Colton Turner for Navarro and he ended up playing in 16 games for the Blue Jays from the end of August.

Navarro didn’t do much with the bat, going 6/33 (.182) with three walks and no extra-base hits but he did go 2/2 in the playoffs. He also threw out three of eight potential base stealers in his seven games behind the plate for the Blue Jays.

His main role was as a switch-hitting pinch hitter and occasional respite for Russell Martin.

Contract Status

Dioner Navarro is a free agent.

Emily Says

Catcher Dioner Navarro returned to the Blue Jays in a mid-August trade with the White Sox. While in Chicago, he’d hit .210/.267/.339 in 85 games. He appeared in sixteen games for Toronto, seven as catcher and the rest as DH or a pinch-hitter. In his first game back on August 31st, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored against the Orioles.

That run was one of his most memorable moments of the season – he scored all the way from first on a double, much to the delight of fans and especially his teammate Michael Saunders.

In fifteen games in September (many of which he started at catcher to give Russell Martin a break), Navarro went 4-for-29 for a batting average of .138. He didn’t have another multi-hit game after the one in Baltimore. His average for the season was .182 with Toronto, and he had 3 RBI but didn’t manage an extra-base hit – that left him with an OBP of .250 and a slugging percentage of .182. He also walked twice and struck out eight times.

Logging 47 defensive innings at catcher, Navarro made one error and had a fielding percentage of .981. He also threw out three would-be base stealers, allowing five stolen bases.

In the playoffs, he only appeared in two games (ALCS Games 3 and 5) and both times as a pinch-hitter. He faced eventual ALCS MVP Andrew Miller both times, and singled both times, leaving him with a perfect 1.000 average and OBP.

Regular Season Grades

Jay: D
Emily: D

Postseason Grades

Jay: A
Emily: A