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A Jays Mistake, Uncovered

January 26, 2015

Mendoza was driving home Friday when our conversation turned to a familiar topic: why are the Jays shopping Dioner Navarro? A reliable .700s OPS catcher with one year and $5M left on his deal is the perfect complement to Russell Martin–and great insurance at the game’s riskiest position.

We found the answer: Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos picked up Josh Thole’s $1.75M option in November while he presumably had Dickey in his mouth. Thole is terrible (OPS each of last three years: .584, .497, .598) but Dickey wants him as his personal catcher, so there’s $1.75M out the door for a below-replacement level player to satisfy a pitcher who had one good year at Citi Field.

Martin says he can catch Dickey’s knuckler. I guess we’ll see.

But in the mean time, AA’s shopping Navarro for all the reasons we like him. (Burger likes Navarro too I think.) AA can actually get something for Navarro, for the reasons already described. What can you get for Thole? Zilch.

More troubling here is that the Jays knew how to play this, if they were actually thinking about it. Look at how they managed the situation with Justin Smoak. The Thole move would have been to decline the option and offer him a contract at the MLB minimum. If Dickey gets pissed off, well, so what really. Since when is a 40-year-old 4-ERA pitcher in charge of player personnel? And if another club wants Dickey’s last year at $12M, looking at what a Jays rotation would be without him (Stroman, Hutchison, Buehrle, Estrada, Sanchez), well, I’d rather have a real 2B or an outfielder for that kind of money.

For a team crying poor, or at least too poor to fill out the ‘pen, picking up Thole’s option was poor all right.

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One Comment
  1. Copper permalink

    Yup, I think Dickey is not gonna make it to Spring Training.
    S

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