Report: White Sox sign catcher Dioner Navarro
The Chicago White Sox made a quick move after the departure of catcher Tyler Flowers on Wednesday. The team agreed to a one-year contract with free agent catcher Dioner Navarro according to reports from Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com. The deal is pending a physical.
Navarro, a 31-year old switch-hitting veteran last played with the Toronto Blue Jays where he hit .246 over just 54 games for them last season. In 2014, Navarro played in 139 games and .274 with a .317 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .395. White Sox fans probably best remember Navarro for his three home run game as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2013.
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With the addition of Navarro, the White Sox will employ a platoon split between him and Avila at catcher and should see a significant upgrade on offense. In 12 major league seasons, Navarro has a lifetime batting average of .255 with 71 career home runs and 332 career RBI through 12 seasons. The native Venezuelan was an all-star in 2008 with the Tampa Bay Rays. This was perhaps Navarro’s best season thus far as he hit .295 with a .349 on-base percentage and .417 slugging percentage in 120 games.
The signing of Navarro on Thursday and Avila last week signals the White Sox front office was fully aware of the offensive inefficiencies from their catchers during the 2015 season. Navarro’s best attribute is his ability to hit left-handed pitching as he is a career .270 hitter against LHP. The White Sox will look to make more moves over the next week as the Winter Meetings start December 6th.