It was referenced in the last Twitter dump, but chatter about productive Cubs back-up catcher Dioner Navarro is picking up.
A free agent after the year, and hitting .294/.370/.510 this season, Navarro has long been an expected trade piece. But it wasn’t until a knee issue put Yadier Molina on the DL today that chatter picked up considerably.
Multiple sources are reporting that the Cubs and Cardinals have discussed Navarro, and there is no reluctance to deal with a rival (why would there be? Navarro helps the Cardinals this year, which is of no consequence to Cubs; and the return to the Cubs isn’t going to be anything that the Cards kick themselves about for years).
Navarro is a nice piece for the stretch run, ably backing up and even filling in as a starter in case of injury. He switch hits, so he can also pinch hit (if the team can cover the whole “losing your other catcher” thing). He’s got sufficient value that he should net a notable return – as in, it’ll be worth discussing – but it won’t be huge.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports, from a source, that the Cubs and Cardinals are discussing a Navarro trade. That’s almost not an update, but it sounds a little more certain and serious.
UPDATE 2: I notice that the Cardinals got a 2014 competitive balance pick after the second round in the lottery this year … might that be an appropriate value for Navarro?
UPDATE 3: Ken Rosenthal says a deal now looks unlikely as the sides have had trouble agreeing on a price for Navarro.
UPDATE 4: Jon Heyman says it’s not happening, as Cardinals were unwilling to give up anything of value. If it was truly no value, there was no sense in moving him. Cardinals … may they miss or bow out of the playoffs for lack of having Navarro. Somehow. I will remember this.