Blue Jays Sign Navarro, Non-tender Arencibia

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Dioner Navarro to a two-year, $8M contract, and soon after, non-tendered J.P. Arencibia. How might these moves affect the Mets?

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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Optimetstic December 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    The Blue Jays are keeping Thole to catch Dickey. He will be their “backup” catcher.
    • Joe Janish December 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm
      I think you meant backup “catcher.”
  2. Sidd Finch December 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm
    No, he’d be an out machine who occasionally hits a longball. His defense is mediocre at best.

    I don’t see the comparison between Lopez and Navarro, at all, even a little bit.

    • Joe Janish December 4, 2013 at 1:05 am
      Sandy Alderson loves guys who hit the longball.

      IMHO, Lopez should’ve been a perennial All-Star, but was a lazy f@$k who put his mind to performing to his potential only in contract years. That’s how Navarro reminds me of Lopez.

  3. argonbunnies December 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm
    Last year, in his Age 27 season, Arencibia did this:

    First 22 games:
    .268 / .286 / .634, 8 HRs, 15 RBI

    Next 140 games:
    .179 / .215 / .309, 13 HRs, 40 RBI

    He has “project for a new hitting coach” written all over him. Unless Hudgens can Fix Him in 10 Minutes (TM), looks like an Invitation to Spring Training to me.