The Toronto Blue Jays are attempting to move on from JP Arencibia behind the plate, signing former Cub Dioner Navarro to a two-year deal worth a reported $8 million. Arencibia will likely be traded, or perhaps non-tendered before this evening's non-tender deadline.
In limited playing time with the Cubs in 2013, Navarro was a monster, hitting .300/.365/.492 with a career-high 13 homers. Navarro was also good in limited playing time for the Reds in 2012 as the primary backup to Ryan Hanigan in August and September, hitting .290/.306/.449 in 73 plate appearances. But this is the same guy who was below replacement level from 2009-2011 with the Rays and Dodgers, and that uncertainty about him makes two years and $8 million guaranteed seem like a steep price.
But to be honest, Navarro is probably an upgrade behind the plate compared to Arencibia. Arencibia, who will turn 28 in January, has 64 homers in his major league career, but also has a horrifying .258 on-base percentage to go along with it. That awful OBP puts Arencibia in the bottom five of all MLB players with at least 500 plate appearances since 2010, along with guys like Drew Butera and Jeff Mathis. If the choice is between paying Navarro $8 million over the next two years and paying Arencibia $2.8 million in 2014 (along with paying him at least that much in 2015 and 2016)…well, Navarro's contract looks pretty damn good.