30 August 2011

adios dioner navarro, dodger double dipper

dioner navarro's second go-around with the dodgers most likely has ended with him being designated for assignment last week.  navarro, seen here on his 2005 donruss throwback threads card
navarro was first acquired by the dodgers in january of 2005 in what was essentially a three-team trade with the yankees and diamondbacks.  he was part of the package that the yankees sent to the d-backs for randy johnson, and was then bundled with a few minor leaguers and sent to the dodgers for shawn green.  since depo had forgotten to get a catcher when he traded away paul loduca during the 2004 season (a deal that was supposedly in place at the time to bring back charles johnson fell apart), jim tracy wound up using jason phillips behind the plate for much of the 2005 season, but once navarro was called up in july, he wound up with the bulk of the playing time.  he hit .273 in 50 games with 3 homers (his first career dinger was a walk-off against the mets) and was pretty good on defense although he threw out only 21% of those who attempted to steal against him.  still, he was only 21 and it looked like maybe the dodgers had a decent catching prospect.

after the 2005 season, paul depodesta was fired and ned colletti took over.  ned signed sandy alomar to help with the catching duties for the 2006 season, and he also called up russell martin in may of that year.  martin played well, and so in june of 2006, ned traded navarro, along with jae seo and another guy to the devil rays for toby hall and mark hendrickson.  and cash.  sweet mccourt lovin' cash. 
with the devil rays/rays, navarro hit the peak of his bell curve.  in 2008, he played in 120 games, hit .295, made the all-star team and helped tampa bay get to the world series.  in the alds he hit .400, and after a .192 performance in the alcs against boston, he hit .353 against philadelphia in the fall classic.  however, after a poor 2010 season in which he played in just 48 games and hit .194, navarro hit the free agent market.  luckily for him, ned was there to pick him up.

ned also had rod barajas on the roster, so navarro fell into the role of backup.  and, as we know, backup catchers haven't received a lot of love from topps since the early 1990's.  i had to slap this one together, a 2011 topps dioner navarro that should have been
this card won't be, however, as i didn't see navarro's name on the draft checklist for the 2011 topps update set, and then there's that other thing - navarro was dfa'd by the dodgers last week.  he was hitting .193 in 64 games although he did have a couple of big walk-off hits this year, including one in that game last month against the padres in which the dodgers were no-hit for 8.2 innings.

later days, dioner.

No comments: