The Chicago Cubs 2013 backup catcher has found a new home north of the boarder with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he will fight for the starting job, according to MLB Network and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Navarro agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Blue Jays and will likely take over the starting job from J.P. Arencibia. The 26-year-old Arencibia will become arbitration eligible if Toronto does not tender him a contract.
Navarro, 29, hit .300/.365/.492 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs over 89 games in 2013 after signing a one-year, $1.75 million deal to backup Welington Castillo. Before joining the Cubs, Navarro played with the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers (twice), Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees.
On Nov. 26, the Cubs acquired George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations. Unless the Cubs make another acquisition for a catcher Kottaras is likely to be the Cubs’ backup catcher on Opening day in Pittsburgh.
Kottaras, 30, hit .180/.349/.370 in 126 plate appearances for the Royals in 2013. Kottaras’ career 14 percent walk rate and .192 isolated power mark showcase his plate discipline and power. He struck out in 33.3 percent of his plate appearances in 2013, however, and has whiffed at nearly a 23 percent clip throughout his career.