We've had a few hours to get used to the Dioner Navarro signing, what do we think?
A few days ago I wrote this:
There is a rumor that someone is going to sign Dioner Navarro, as with any free agent catcher, pitcher, middle infielder, it could be with the Jays. Or, it could be with any of half a dozen other teams. Navarro hit .300/.365/.492 in 89 games for the Cubs last year, the best numbers of his 10 year career. He had 13 home runs, his first time in the double digits. He's not thought of as a very good defensive catcher, but he couldn't be much worse than JP. He has good timing, hitting .300 for the first time just before going on the free agent market. Someone will likely be overpaying for him, I don't know that it should be the Jays.
The good news is that we didn't overpay. Or at least didn't overpay by much. Keith Law (subscription required) figures we overpaid some:
I liked Dioner Navarro as a potential value signing in free agency this winter, looking at him for one year and about $2 million (which could easily stretch to $2.5-3 million with continued acceleration in free agent salaries this winter) to see if his offensive spike in 2013 had any legs to it.
He does a few things well enough to merit giving him a major league deal and a starting job, including solid walk rates, average pop, and above-average throwing, but just hadn't performed anything like this in five years, and the breakout came back in the National League.
Defensively, it looks like he has a league average arm, doesn't seem to block pitches in the dirt well, but pitchers seem to like pitching to him. Course, I don't remember too many pitchers complaining about JP (well, other than Dickey), so I on't know how much that is worth.
Offensively, he's not very consistent. We are signing him off his best season ever, which really isn't my favorite idea. He hit .300/.365/.492 with 13 home runs (first time in double digits). If he hits like that for the Jays, we'll be very very happy, but I'd be also very surprised. But he'll be better than what we got from JP, he'll have a positive WAR and that's good.
He won't catch as many games as JP did, so we'l see more of Josh Thole (or something else, there is still a ot of time between now and opening day). I'd imagine a 100-60 split between them. If the team is going to do better, we are going to have to have a bounce back year from Thole. He's almost got to be better than last year, how much better is a good question.
Thole was a good hitter, before the concussion. I kind of wonder if he's ever really recovered from that. I wonder if he's ever going to fully recover.
On JP....I really dislike that they aren't tendering him, mostly cause I hate giving up any asset for nothing. I'd have tendered him and then, if I couldn't get rid of him by spring training, then cut him.
We all know, where ever he ends up, he'll have a better season (it would be impossible not to better) and there will be no end to the whining and complaining about it. I'll have to turn off twitter.
Really, JP has dug his heels in about changing his approach, at the plate, and behind the plate, at least as a Blue Jay. Maybe this will be the shock to the system that he needs.
Anyway, now that you've had time to think about it all, what do you think about the events of the day?
The title and picture come from Minor Leaguer. I love the photo.