Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Navarro Is A Promise

Have no fear, the 205-lb .194 batter is here (again):

In a pair of developments that perfectly illustrate the fickle nature of professional baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed their agreement with free-agent catcher Dioner Navarro on Tuesday, signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract, even as two-time All-Star Russell Martin -- the man who supplanted Navarro as the Dodgers' primary catcher more than four years ago -- reportedly agreed to terms with the New York Yankees on a one-year contract. [...]

"[Navarro] is a lot more experienced than he was when he was here before," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He was an All-Star catcher who was a full-time player when [the Rays] went to the World Series. He is still a young man, his opportunity here is strong, and his ability to stay here for a while is up to him at this point. We had a really good conversation, and I'm pleased we were able to get both him and Barajas."

Like Martin with the Dodgers, Navarro initially performed well for the Rays, making the American League All-Star team in 2008 and helping Tampa Bay reach the World Series in a season when he hit a career-high .295 with a .349 on-base percentage. But Navarro, a defensive specialist who has little power with the bat, never came close to those numbers again. He hit a combined .212 over the past two seasons, and his anemic .194 average in 2010 eventually resulted in his losing the primary catching job to rookie John Jaso.

Angry at being left off the Rays' playoff roster, Navarro left the team and went home -- which wasn't far, considering he lives in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. By all accounts, the Rays' decision to non-tender him after the season probably would have come even if Navarro had been a dutiful soldier and stuck around to root on his teammates in their first-round loss to the Texas Rangers, but that's a moot point now.

Colletti said Navarro's abrupt departure came up in negotiations, but that he was satisfied with Navarro's explanation.

"We talked about it, and he admitted that he could have made a better decision," Colletti said. "He said that when he was here before, he wasn't as wise as he is today. He said, 'I have learned a lot in the last few years, and I learned a lot this fall when I probably should have done something [different].'"

Let me recap here: petulant, overweight, mopey, and a poor hitter--but as Colletti says, "more experienced than when he was here before." Yeah, it sounds like he's definitely worthy of a return tour of duty with Los Angeles (to be fair, he's still well behind Juan Castro).

(And even though I'm a fan of Fiona Apple, the video and song for "Never Is A Promise" is a little arduous. I prefer this song (and video), "Criminal"):

29 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

205? what is he, 5-3?

Mr. Customer said...

Ned, Ned, Ned…

MeanieBreanie said...

The brilliance displayed by the Dodgers never ceases to amaze me.

Josh S. said...

That's a lesson to all young ballplayers. You don't need to be good, you just need to play for a long time and hope Ned Colletti is still a GM somewhere.

Fred's Brim said...

This season, we are gonna have to pitch like motherfuckers and be able to take a punch in the dicks and/or lady parts when we are hitting

This is the Dodger baseball I grew up on
(flashback cries)

Fred's Brim said...

MB - you and Original Flavor Sax look very presidential in that picture!

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Love means Navarro having to say he's sorry.

MeanieBreanie said...

FB - Presidential? I'm not sure how to take that. At least we are both in Dodger blue.

Fred's Brim said...

@MB - on first glance, i thought it was a portrait a senator might have made for a campaign but when I clicked in, I saw it was you and my favorite second baseman!

Mr. Customer said...

Guerrier, now? I fail to understand.

Steve Sax said...

my favorite second baseman, too!

Steve Sax said...

B-R.com says Navarro is 5'9", 205lb

Spanky said...

Lay off the crack pipe already,Ned.

Fred's Brim said...

Ugh 3 years for Guerrier?
I think I need to go back to when I didn't really follow the hot stove league. I feel like I've been pushed up against the stove and have burned my bum.

Anybody got a bucket of water?

Josh S. said...

His name means warrior! Vic the Brick is probably ecstatic.

Wicks said...

El Gordo aint no 205.

Guerrier is fine by me he will help fill the 6-7 inn.

Fiona is always fine by me!

rbnlaw said...

Catchers are cheap these days.

rbnlaw said...

Later Ned pointed out that Jon Garland is now older than he was when he was with the team in 2009.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Definitely an interesting pickup. Three years at $4 million seems a bit much for a middle-innings reliever, but as long as he's durable, it's not the worst signing ever.

That honor still goes to Navarro.

Mr. Customer said...

@MLASC

Worst signing this season, I'll give you, but the Dodgers have had some pretty epic fuck-ups to surpass to claim worst-ever.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Well when I say worst ever I do refer to this season, but yes, there have been many a fuck-up.

Mr. Customer said...

Gotta be Dreifort, but he gets some credit for actually being decent pre-injury.

Both Carlos and Odalis Perez are right up there, too.

Mr. Customer said...

I'd preliminarily put Dioner right about Tomko-level of fucked-upedness. Not good, but not really breaking the bank, either.

Steve Sax said...

@Mr C: But Tomko brought us Julia Schultz. Surely that counts for something. I can think of two things, in fact.

Mr. Customer said...

@Sax

If signings are to be evaluated by cup size, Navarro's gotta be right there.

*rimshot*

Eric Karros said...

I see we're greenlighting links to softporn youtube videos now.

(makes mental note)

Mr. Customer said...

^This from the man who brought you cartoon bear porn.

Eric Karros said...

CBP was hardcore.

Mr. Customer said...

Distinction noted.