White Sox sign Dioner Navarro

The Chicago White Sox have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal of unknown value with catcher Dioner Navarro, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

After the White Sox non-tendered Tyler Flowers, the addition of another catcher was not a complete surprise. Navarro will be 32 years old next season, and will likely backup behind Alex Avila, another addition to the White Sox for 2016. Navarro is no stranger to being a backup, as he played the entirety of the 2015 season behind Russell Martin.

Navarro’s season last year was below his personal average (the last three years, his batting average hasn’t been lower than .274) but still decent, as he posted a .246/.307/.374 (88 OPS+) clip with 5 home runs and 20 RBI over 192 plate appearances in 54 games.  Over the entirety of his 12-year career, the Venezuelan has hit .255/.313/.375 (86 OPS+) with 71 home runs and 332 RBI in 908 games.

This is a move that further weakens the market for catchers, with Matt Wieters taking the qualifying offer of the Baltimore Orioles, and Alex Avila already signing a one-year deal with the White Sox. It appears that if any team wants to upgrade at catcher, it’ll be via trade or by calling up a prospect.

Here’s what you need to know about the deal: The White Sox get a veteran backup catcher with a decent history.

For a more in-depth look, check out Cover Those Bases’ full story here.

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Spring Training Notes from Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th

Here are today’s and yesterday’s top stories from Spring Training.

Texas Rangers RHP Yu Darvish will undergo UCL reconstruction surgery after spraining his UCL.  The injury was originally thought to be tightness in his right triceps, but after looking at the MRI, the true extent of the injury was revealed. Texas was plagued by injuries last year, and this year isn’t looking much better.

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Spring Training Notes for March 11th

-The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly made an offer to Cuban infield prospect Hector Olivera, according to Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors. Olivera is one of the last major names on the board, if not the last major name on the board. Things are apparently “heating up”. This comes less than 24 hours after Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported that the San Diego Padres had an offer on the table worth $50 million. The Atlanta Braves had reportedly also been in contact with Olivera’s camp.

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Spring Training Notes from March 9th

Here are the top stories from Spring Training today.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee announced today that his career may end if he needs elbow surgery. The end of Lee’s career would mark the end for one of this century’s best pitchers. Lee has gone 143-91 over his career, posting a 3.52 ERA over 13 years.
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Spring Training Notes from March 6th

Here are today’s notes from Spring Training.

San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence broke his forearm yesterday after being hit on the arm by a pitch thrown by Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Corey Black. Pence spoke to the media on Friday, and told them that “You control what you can control. These things happen. It’s part of the game.” (per ESPN) The injury will end his streak of 383 consecutive games played in. Continue reading

Johan Santana, Blue Jays, agree to minor-league deal

Johan Santana‘s journey continues for now.

The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to a minor-league deal with a big-league camp invitation. The deal will be worth $2.5 million if he makes the major league roster, plus incentives. Continue reading