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.


Padres emerging as frontrunners for Shields

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the San Diego Padres have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to sign the elusive starting pitcher James Shields, who has taken an above average  incredibly long time to sign this offseason.

Shields would take the number one spot in San Diego’s rotation and be an important veteran presence on a young and promising team, who are all newly assembled after San Diego’s slew of moves.

Shields led the Royals to an AL Championship at the forefront of the pitching staff, going 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA over 227 innings pitched and 34 games, and he would provide a true ace for San Diego.

However, talks have stalled over the last 48 hours, and a deal is nowhere near done – but Shields is closer to San Diego than he has been to any other team all offseason long.

Other possible suitors include the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shields is expected to command a four-year deal worth more than $70 million.