It’s no secret that catching depth for the Arizona Diamondbacks has been a cause for concern this spring and it looks like that the club might be interested in addressing it.
According to Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, the D’Backs appear to be one of two teams interested in the services of Dioner Navarro. The other team is the Detroit Tigers.
"“My agent (Melvin Roman) told me both Arizona and Detroit have interest,” Navarro said Monday morning in the visiting clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium before the Jays lost to the Tigers."
Once a top prospect of the New York Yankees, Navarro has had a solid big league career. Now 31, Navarro is coming off of one of his best seasons of his career, where he hit .274 with 12 home runs and 69 RBI.
Despite his solid 2014 campaign, Toronto looking to move Navarro is no surprise. The club invested big money in Russell Martin over the offseason and Josh Thole can hold his own as Martin’s backup.
As for Arizona, looking to add a veteran catcher makes a lot of sense with Miguel Montero now in Chicago with the Cubs and not a lot of great options to replace him.
At the moment, Tuffy Gosewisch is slated to be this team’s starter, a guy who didn’t reach the big leagues until age 29. Oscar Hernandez is a Rule 5 pick who hasn’t played above Single A and left today’s game with a wrist injury, but the team does like his upside.
Gerald Laird was signed by the club on a minor league deal about a month back. Mostly used as a backup throughout his career, Laird is a favorite of Tony LaRussa’s.
Peter O’Brien is Arizona’s most intriguing option of the group. He’s received rave reviews in camp and has four hits in his first 12 at-bats of the spring.
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It’s unlikely that he starts the season with the big league club though as the D’Backs will want to wait until at least May to call him up so they can save a year of club control with him.
Adding Navarro would without question improve the catching position. Gosewisch is just not a big league caliber catcher, Hernandez is raw and not quite ready for big league hitting and Laird is a backup at this stage of his career.
I’m just not sure that LaRussa and company would be willing to part with the prospects needed to get the veteran catcher. Plus, adding Navarro would delay O’Brien’s path to the majors and it’s pretty clear that the organization wants to see him sooner rather than later.
All those things point to Navarro not being in a D’Backs uniform.