Time to Push Navarro From the Rays Nest

      Sometimes I can visually see vividly in my mind a few of the Tampa Bay Rays staff inside the dugout tunnels or near the clubhouse during games banging their heads against the wall in regards to…



Sometimes I can visually see vividly in my mind a few of the Tampa Bay Rays staff inside the dugout tunnels or near the clubhouse during games banging their heads against the wall in regards to the antics and misadventures involving Rays catcher Dioner Navarro over the past two seasons. The mire fact that Navarro is still on the Rays 40-man roster even at this moment just baffles me to no avail.

Navarro in my mind is one of those professional baseball players who just seems to be more of a heavy albatross around the neck of this franchise than any measure of a good omen. It just seems to me personally that Navarro must have had a few unflattering photos or video of someone somewhere within the Rays organization. I guess that is the rationale I have to put into my mind to explain how Navarro still has a coveted spot upon the Rays 40-man roster.

Soon the Rays front office could end all of this mind boggling insanity and possibly non-tender Navarro, thus setting set him free upon the rest of the MLB. Or could the Rays be hoping and praying for someone to be willing to trade even a few minor league prospects for their catcher who now seems to have his Rays days numbered.

Why in heck is this guy still got even a hint of possibly securing another year with the Rays after his blatant disregard for his own club after he walked away from the Rays on October 7th because his name was omitted from the American League Divisional Series 25-man roster. How in his mind could Navarro really think he deserved a ALDS roster spot over the more productive pairing of current Rays catchers Kelly Shoppach and rookie John Jaso?

Could his agent have possibly diluted his mind to such a state that Navarro took the omission as a disrespectful move by the Rays instead of the right personnel move considering Navarro’s 2010 track record? Might that roster omission by the Rays fueled Navarro’s frustrations and made him implode and pack up catching gear and leave the Rays clubhouse for maybe the last time?

Or was this another visual outburst of denial by Navarro of the ever increasing valley between the team and himself after Navarro spent his time from June 24th until his call-up on August 31st with the Rays Triple-A affiliate in Durham, North Carolina. The fact that Navarro openly told the team on October 7th that he was “going home” instead of staying with the club and working out in case of an injury to any of the Rays catchers’ should have pushed him beyond the confines of Rays Manager Joe Maddon’s doghouse and given Navarro an instant exit from the Rays 40-man roster.


But still, the Venezuelan catcher still sits upon the 32 names currently resting on the Rays 40-man roster this off season. Isn’t this the same Navarro who became certainly expendable in the Rays minds back during Dec 2009 when the Rays first had thoughts of trading away Navarro, but the return was not considered beneficial to the team’s future. Wasn’t Navarro the figure on the Rays roster who should have been more aware and concerned for his job when the Rays traded one of the Rays top farmhand pitchers Mitch Talbot to the Cleveland Indians for Shoppach.

Shouldn’t that transaction by the Rays during the off season been a clear signal to Navarro that his Major League job might be in deep jeopardy? Instead it just seemed like Navarro, who had seen the Rays bring fellow backstop Gregg Zaun late in 2009 did not seem to heed the warning signals. Instead it seemed that Navarro just tried to do just enough to again hold onto one of the Rays two catching positions.

Even during the Winter of 2009 when teams like the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays were hunting for catching options, the slow-footed Navarro did not peak anyone interest farther than a casual phone call to the Rays. During the 2009 off season the Rays did think long and hard about non-tendering the arbitration eligible catcher, but again he somehow had enough believers in the Rays staff to fend off his departure.

More and more in 2009 and early 2010 the Rays faithful had to witness the extreme casual attitude behind the plate when Navarro basically saw balls hit the dirt in front of him and he mysteriously missed the balls and had to chase them around the Tropicana Field backstop. It was if Navarro had stepped into a hole defensively that he could not get himself out of in time to save his starting job.

But now as another arbitration time is quickly approaching it is time for the Rays to send a loud and clear message to their one time All Star catcher. It is time to cut the string between Navarro and the Rays and set him along towards another team. With the emergence of Jaso and the stability of a contract with Shoppach for another season, it would be ill advised to hold onto an arbitration eligible Navarro who could demand a $ 2.9 million salary even with his demotion during 2010 to the minor leagues.

It is time to let the slow-footed catcher makes his way out of the fold of the Rays and into the glaring sunlight to see his true worth around the Major Leagues . They say a mother bird sometimes has to push a baby bird out of it’s nest to make it realize it has to fly. It is time for this bird to definitely get pushed out of the Rays fold. Some might call it a reality check for Navarro, but I consider it more a relief of catching albatross from around the necks of the Rays. Fly away little Navi, Fly away!




By Rays Renegade

2004 inductee to the Rays/Pepsi Fan Wall of Fame. Ex-Evening Independent Sports Correspondent who STILL misses the deadlines and writing about his hometown baseball team. Someone who has spent an entire night in the haunted Clubhouse of Huggins/Stengel Field...and loved it when he smelled the cigar smoke.

12 replies on “Time to Push Navarro From the Rays Nest”

Still remember when the Rays were trying to acquire Andy Marte from the Red Sox about the same time.
Funny how things kind of work out for one team, and the other has to take the stress and pressure of watching a good player melt in front of their own eyes.
Shoppach might not be a huge upgrade in comparison to Navarro some days, but he at least tries and dives on every ball and has a better work ethic.

Rays Renegade

The Indians have pushed Andy Marte out of their nest. They outrighted him and he is now free to latch on with anyone. He has underachieved ever since being acquired by the Indians in `06. That was the same deal the Indians acquired Shoppach.

I guess the Yanks were right to send Navarro away! I was always fearful that he’d develop into an All-Star catcher with another team. Seriously, I wish him the best and I hope that he has success wherever he ends up next year. My team is apparently going with a rookie catcher next year so I have my own catching woes to worry about. With all seriousness, I wish there was a way the Rays would come up with the money to pay Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano. While I don’t want the Rays to win, I like the competitiveness of the team.


The Rays could come up with the money to pay Crawford and Soriano, but there would only be 10 players on the roster.
That would make Rays Manager Joe Maddon’s job a lot harder.
But in this region we have seen this happen before with the franchise, or Edwin Jackson and a few others in the past like Joe Kennedy or even Bobby Abreu would of had some sort of longer Rays related careers.

Rays Renegade

Most people forget that the Yankees first signed Navarro, and for years he was going through the Yankees system before they decided to use him in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Every year the Rays brought in a veteran catcher, but somehow Navi kept them at bay and stayed as the usual starter, until 2010.
Maybe it is just time for a change in scenery and a change in environment for Navarro to re-discover his catching skills.

Rays Renegade

Actually Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes might have been the cancerous duo. Josh Hamilton’s exit from the Rays roster was an attempt by then rookie GM Adrew Friedman to try and slip Hamilton through the Rule 5 Drfat without someone claiming him.
Friedman might have thought with the past drug situations and Hamilton only playing for a few months most of the other MLB teams would shy away…The Cubbie snapped Hamilton up and traded him to Cincy.

Rays Renegade

I can understand the frustration, but I also think the action was far wrose than just facing it like a man and waiting for your next chance.
The Rays would have probably non-tendered or let Navi go no matter what, but now they have to do it to send a clear message.
Adios Navi, do not let the door hit you on the way out!

Rays Renegade

Sounds like a change of scenery for Navi may or may not do him good but would definitely do some good for the Rays. I find it easy to forgive performance issues when players have a good attitude, are team players and are trying to work through the issues. But I find it very hard to forgive a bad, selfish attitude, especially when part of the attitude problem is a lack of hustle.

Considering the garbage that Navarro’s agent and the foolish antics of his wife during Rays home games over the years both the Rays and the St. Pete Police Department and the Tropicana Field Security will not be sad to see Navi’s family move onto another team.
Some people just get caught up in a sea of bad karma and it overtakes them from head-to-toe, even into their workplace.
A new locale might do wonders for Navarro’s attitude and aspects for the restof his career….But it will be his fourth stop and possibly his last chance.

Rays Renegade

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