Since, one would assume, Corky Miller is going to be the first catcher recalled if something happens to either Hanigan or Mesoraco; then, essentially, Dioner Navarro becomes Corky's backup. And paying 800K to backup Miller seems excessive for a small-market team. While looking into Navarro's defensive abilities I ran across this article. Not very encouraging.
Here are a couple of the lowlights. The link follows.
The rookie manager said Friday that the "philosophical differences" he had with the departed Dioner Navarro concerned the catcher's work ethic — or lack thereof. Navarro, who was on a one-year, $1-million contract, was designated for assignment Tuesday.
Navarro's defense had also become an issue, in particular his throwing and blocking of pitches in the dirt.
Here is another article from the LA Times.
DIONER NAVARRO, 27, catcher
Final 2011 stats: .193, five homers, 17 RBI, .276 on-base and .324 slugging percentages, seven errors.
Contract status: Free as a bird.
The good: Two of his five homers won games. Ah, that’s just about it.
The bad: Everything else? OK, that’s a bit harsh, but maybe only a bit.
He could not hit, which apparently came as a surprise to no one but the Dodgers. He was sporadic behind the plate. He did not work hard. He took up space that belonged to A.J. Ellis, who could have used the experience now that he’s in place to be the Dodgers’ primary catcher in 2012. And the Dodgers paid Navarro $1 million, even though one else seemed interested.What’s next: Navarro is open for business. Of course, he’s been open for business since the Dodgers released him Aug. 23. Wonder if they figured out why no one picked him up?He’ll only be 28 in February but his career looks over.
The take: Imagine the shock — shock, I say — that Navarro did not pan out. General Manager Ned Colletti has a thing about his backups being veterans (see: Matt Treanor), but this was a poor idea from the moment it formed as the smallest kernel of a thought.
Navarro had one good fluke season in his seven major-league seasons. Otherwise, he’s proven a major disappointment. He hit just .194 for the Rays in 2010, then got churlish about not being added to their postseason roster.He came back to the Dodgers last season and hit .193. He was a consistent fellow. Though he never proved a problem in the clubhouse, his lack of dedication to his difficult position finally proved his undoing with the Dodgers.The day after they cut him, Manager Don Mattingly let it be known he was disappointed Navarro had failed to put in the work and time required to be a good player. So to his list of failings, add work ethic. Maybe being cut hit home with Navarro. Maybe he gets a non-roster invite to some team, puts in the work and makes a club. And maybe not.
And maybe he gets paid 800K to backup Corky Miller down on the farm.
Seems as if you are gonna sign a catcher to provide AAA depth you would want one with a good attitude and a strong work ethic.