Dioner Navarro free agency: Red Sox have shown 'initial interest' in free agent catcher

USA TODAY Sports

Dioner Navarro joins the growing list of catchers the Red Sox could turn to in 2014.

The Red Sox have shown "initial interest" in free agent catcher Dioner Navarro according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.

Maybe you've noticed, but the Red Sox are certainly exploring every option behind the plate. Even with Carlos Ruiz now out of their reach, Boston has now been actively linked to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Brian McCann, the aforementioned Navarro, and--unfortunately--A.J. Pierzynski. That's essentially every available catcher of note.

Navarro, though, kind of seems like scraping the bottom of the barrell. He can't hit righties, which makes him a poor platoon partner for David Ross, even if Ross has relatively even splits over the course of his career. He's generally speaking never hit much of anything, actually, until he managed half-a-season worth of .374 wOBA offense. There's a chance this is a breakout, but more likely it's a career year that someone will end up overpaying for before getting the same old Navarro.

If he was a defensive specialist, that might not matter so much, but on the whole Navarro has graded out as an average or below-average catcher during his career. This is not a guy who can really contribute to a team like the Red Sox without the bat.

He will probably not come all that expensive even after 2013, and there is upside to be had with Navarro if that career year turns out to be the start of something. But that really just makes him more palatable than the likes of A.J. Pierzynski, which isn't saying much. The Sox could do worse, but they could sure do a lot better, too.

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