Sep 23, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) gets tagged out by Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro (30) during the second inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Dioner Navarro signs 2-year, $8 million deal with Toronto Blue Jays

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.

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  • Chris

    This pick up is overall a good one but leaves its controversy. As Wilner put it offensively he may have sustainable production; but defensively he seems to be a bit of a liability. Don;t know if this will fare well for the Jays! Regardless it sounds like JPA is going to be non-tendered so hes on his way out if they can’t trade him. Hope to hear big news on getting something for him in return, he makes too much to be a backup and Thole can already handle RA’s knuckler. This post may shed some light on the situation: