dioner navarro cubsThis week’s $300 fantasy contest runs on Friday, and you can/should sign up todayFull details here. It’s free and fun, for reals.

These are your non-David DeJesus Bullets, as there will be plenty to say about that trade today.

  • Don’t be surprised to see Dioner Navarro promptly re-signed this Winter. Not only has he produced at the plate this year, but yet another Cubs pitcher is signing his praises. “Navarro is unbelievable,” Jeff Samardzija said after last night’s win, per ESPN. “What he does behind the plate, his presence is outstanding. He has a plan as to what he wants to do and that takes a load off of me and my mind. We were on the same page all day. He would take a second to let me relax before executing the next pitch.” Defensively, Navarro hasn’t always looked good behind the plate this year, but if he can hit 90% as well as he has, and can put the pitchers in a position to succeed, I’d be plenty happy to have him back splitting time with Welington Castillo next year. Navarro is currently hitting 291/.366/.527, easily the best line of anyone who has been playing regularly since the start of the season.
  • The lack of catching depth in the upper minors for the Cubs (or lower minors, for that matter) will probably play a significant role in how heavily they prioritize bringing Navarro back. He’s making just $1.75 million this year, and will almost certainly get a healthy raise. As a free agent, the only question is whether he’ll be able to find something more akin to a starting job out there. He’ll be 30 next year, so it’s not as if he’s old.
  • Anthony Rizzo missed last night’s game with an illness, and Dale Sveum mentioned a migraine headache. Hopefully it was a one-off kind of thing, and Rizzo comes back soon.
  • Jed Hoyer still has high hopes for Starlin Castro, despite his poor performance this year. “There’s no reason in the world to think he can’t get back to the way he played as a 21-year-old,” Hoyer told Patrick Mooney. “We have to get to the bottom [of it] as a staff, why he’s hasn’t had as good a year, how we can get him better. Isolating him and focusing on him as a negative doesn’t help that. This is a guy that – when he’s right – is one of the more talented players in the game.” You’d like to see Castro hit well over the final month and a half, entering into the offseason on the upswing.
  • Patrick Mooney on Bryce Harper, and Bryce Harper on Cubs top 2013 draft pick Kris Bryant.
  • Bruce Levine on the cross-section of media and player performance.
  • All Kris Bryant did in his first week in the Florida State League was notch nine hits in 25 at bats with three homers, and win the league’s Player of the Week honors in the process. Overall, Bryant is hitting .344/.391/.688 in his first professional season over 110 plate appearances.
  • Don’t forget: Social Media Night at the Cubs game tomorrow. Be there. And then Thursday’s game against the Nationals (Strasburg!), be there in the right field bleachers. After the game, we can grab drinks and food at Casey Moran’s. Come hang out.


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