Dioner Navarro did not receive a qualify offer from the Chicago Cubs and it is unlikely that he will be re-signed. The Cubs will search for Welington Castillo‘s backup during the off-season and may find a free agent worthy of taking the starting job.
Theo Epstein’s, Cubs president of baseball operations, and Jed Hoyer’s, general manager, philosophy to build from the bottom up and not tie up the team in big contracts is why they will not be pursuing Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Epstein and Hoyer could take a look at recent Cuban defector Yenier Bello. The 28-year-old Bello worked out for Major League teams in Tijuana, Mexico on Nov. 5 to showcase his power. Bello went .276/.324/.458 with 82 home runs over nine seasons (2003-11) in Cuba’s top league. He also threw out 50 percent (118 of 236) of the players that attempted a steal.
Bello is not subject to international signing regulations since he is at least 23-years-old and has played three seasons professionally. However, he is unable to sign until he receives permission from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
With newly hired manager Rick Renteria’s experience working with Hispanic players it would seem Bello would be a natural fit for the Cubs.
The Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Miami Marlins are other teams seeking a catcher.