Blue Jays Sign Navarro, Non-tender Arencibia
I’ve liked Navarro in the past as a low-risk, high-reward guy. However, I don’t like him on a two-year, $8M deal and being plugged in as the starting backstop for a team gearing for a postseason spot. (For what it’s worth, I was high on Navarro at exactly this time last year, but it was too late, as well as around this time in 2010, and around this time in 2009). After advocating Navarro over and over, why don’t I like him now? Because I think his time in Chicago last year is a mirage. Navarro reminds me a bit of former Braves catcher Javier Lopez, in that he has impressive raw skills, but isn’t always as motivated as I’d like him to be. My concern is that Navarro “woke up” long enough to cash in on a big multi-million-dollar deal, and will cruise for at least half of the life of the contract, if not all of it. I can easily see him being a disappointment in 2014, then working hard to be good again in his walk year — or, simply laying down for both years and going home. Even if he doesn’t lay down, I see Navarro’s weaknesses exploited with regular duty — I think the Cubs did a great job of picking spots in which he could succeed.
In any case, it doesn’t matter what Navarro does in Toronto. What matters is that J.P. Arencibia is now a free agent, the Mets are in the market for a backup catcher, and they tend to like players with homerun power, which Arencibia has. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Mets signed Arencibia, to back up Travis d’Arnaud (or compete with him for the starting job)? It seems a possibility. I’ve always liked Arencibia, and think he’d be fine as a backup. In fact, I’m surprised the Jays didn’t keep him around to pair with Navarro, who has never caught more than 120 games in a season — and the last time he did that was 2008.
What’s your thought? Would you like to see the Mets go after Arencibia? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.