Where is Dioner Navarro?
It seems as if many former Jays players are either M.I.A. or have been released by their organization over the past month. This list includes Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro.
Personally, Navarro was one of my favourite Blue Jays and has been for a very long time. Whether it was because of his occasional clutch hit, or when he somehow found a police cap and cigar, Navarro was always the most beloved underrated Jays out there.
In 2016, the Blue Jays decided not to offer Navarro a contract. He ended up going to the Chicago White Sox after selecting their 1-year offer. Most Jays fans were upset, and not only because of his personality, but because of the great success he had catching Marco Estrada in 2015. During the time of the 2016 trade deadline, Shapiro and Atkins acquired Navarro, and he ended up coming back to help the team make a run for the 2016 playoffs. Because of this, Josh Thole was put on waivers and eventually cleared. Although, Thole and R.A. Dickey never played in the postseason (they were not on the roster), so having a catcher like Navarro on the team to backup Russell Martin during the playoffs was very crucial and beneficial for the Jays.
Throughout this past offseason, there were articles on the Jays Blogosphere, sharing opinions as to whether Navarro should be picked up by the Jays, or be left alone and eventually signed by another team. The Jays made their decision in the middle of the offseason, and decided to pick up catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league deal (with bonuses if he makes the major league team). Therefore, there is no reason for the Jays to re-sign Navarro at this point.
It is currently March 15, 2017, and believe it or not, Dioner Navarro has yet to be acquired by an MLB organization. It is unknown if he has retired from baseball, or if there have been no offers made to him throughout the entire offseason.
A few weeks ago, news broke that Brett Lawrie was released by the Chicago White Sox. I assume he has some offers on the table currently, but he has decided to wait until some of his minor injuries have healed before he makes his way back into baseball for 2017.
Navarro could have some minor injuries, and be on the same plan that Lawrie is on. Although, he seemed to be healthy after the season ended in 2016, so I am not sure that that could be the case for him.
So, where is Navarro now? He is probably somewhere in his home relaxing and waiting to see how the season starts to play out. If he gets an offer, that would be fantastic for him. But as time goes on, teams will have less interest in having him as their backup catcher. It is quite unusual for a major league caliber catcher to not be signed by a team before pitchers and catchers report in February for spring training. Which leads me to think that baseball might not be for him anymore.