Chicago White Sox sign Dioner Navarro


After non-tendering catcher Tyler Flowers and already adding Alex Avila, the Chicago White Sox continue to make changes behind the plate, inking veteran backstop Dioner Navarro to a one-year/$4 million deal.

The 31-year old is coming off of a year of part-time action with the Toronto Blue Jays, backing up Russell Martin and occasionally playing as the team’s designated hitter. Navarro put up five home runs and drove in 20 across 54 games with the Jays last season, hitting .246/.307/.374. With a 2015 campaign that was riddled with injuries and limited playing time, Navarro’s potential upside can better be witnessed through his 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Blue Jays respectively.

With more playing time in 2014, the switch-hitting catcher posted 12 HR, 69 RBI and a .274 batting average, appearing in 139 games for the Blue Jays. In a part-time role with the Cubs in 2013, Navarro hit .300/.365/.492, hitting 13 HR while driving in 34.

Navarro has appeared to be a very effective backup, and will most likely see a substantial amount of playing time on Chicago’s south side in 2016, likely in a platoon role with Alex Avila. Navarro’s offensive upside behind the plate can certainly provide assistance to a White Sox team that has struggled offensively with catchers since the departure of A.J. Pierzynski after the 2012 season.

On just a one year deal, Navarro can certainly prove to be effective with more playing time than usual, which could perhaps set him up for a more substantial contract at the end of the 2016 season barring injury.

This addition can also prove to be a tremendous help for the White Sox as a whole offensively, who finished 27th and 29th in team on-base percentage and slugging percentage respectively. With the help of another capable bat, the South Siders can begin to fill in holes in a struggling lineup with hopes of contending for a playoff spot in 2016.