Results tagged ‘ Dioner Navarro ’

12/2 Extra bases

* The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players before Monday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline. Players not tendered before that deadline will become free agents. The Cubs have nine players who are arbitration eligible, including infielders Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy; outfielder Nate Schierholtz; and pitchers Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, Daniel Bard, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.

The main reason teams might non-tender a player is because he is arbitration eligible and due for a raise higher than the team is willing to pay.

This is the third year Schierholtz is arbitration eligible, the second year for Samardzija, Russell, Valbuena, and Murphy, and the first year for Bard, Barney, Strop and Wood. According to salaries projected by, if the Cubs tender contracts to all nine players, they’ll be adding $21.5 million to the payroll. The Cubs have committed $49 million to six players for 2014 and will be paying $14 million to the Yankees to cover the last year of Alfonso Soriano’s contract.

*The Cubs have reportedly re-signed outfielder Darnell McDonald to a Minor League deal. He has a career .285/.353/.453 slash line against left-handed pitchers (12-for-28 this season with Cubs). McDonald played in 25 games with the Cubs this season, and was outrighted to the Minor Leagues on Oct. 8. He became a free agent Oct. 15.

* According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have reached an agreement with catcher Dioner Navarro on a two-year, $8 million deal. Navarro, 29, batted .300 in 89 games last season with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs, including three in one game, and driving in 34. Navarro was paid $1.75 million last year. The Cubs have signed George Kottaras to be their backup catcher in 2014.

* Steve Wilson, who was the Pacific Rim and Mexico scouting coordinator for the Cubs, has joined the Yankees as the Pacific Rim scouting coordinator/international crosschecker. Wilson pitched for the Cubs from 1989-91.

— Carrie Muskat

11/26 Cubs acquire Kottaras

Dioner Navarro posted career numbers last season as the Cubs backup catcher, but he is now a free agent and the team decided to go a different direction, and acquired George Kottaras from the Royals for a cash consideration on Tuesday. Kottaras, 30, was the Royals’ backup catcher last season after he was claimed off waivers from the Athletics in January. He started 29 games and hit .180 with four doubles, five home runs and 12 RBIs. Kottaras’ .349 on-base percentage was sixth-highest among American League catchers.

Navarro batted .300 in 89 games with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs and driving in 23 runs, as a backup to Welington Castillo, who will be the team’s starter again in 2014.

Kottaras, a left-handed hitter, was designated for assignment by the Royals on Friday. He has batted .214 with 40 doubles, three triples, 29 home runs and 96 RBIs in 295 Major League games with the Red Sox (2008-09), Brewers (2010-12), Athletics (2012) and Royals (2013). In 2012, Kottaras tied his career mark with nine home runs between the Brewers and Athletics, including six in 27 games for the Athletics following a July 29 trade. In his final full season with Milwaukee in 2011, he hit for the cycle, Sept. 3 at Houston, becoming the third catcher to do so in the live ball era.

— Carrie Muskat

10/31 Free agent update

With the World Series now complete, the following Cubs players are free agents:

RHP Scott Baker
RHP Kevin Gregg
RHP Matt Guerrier
C Dioner Navarro

The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 34.

Teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents for five days after the completion of the World Series. Baker, Gregg, Guerrier and Navarro will be free to begin negotiations with all 30 teams, starting at 11 p.m. CT on Monday. The Cubs’ quartet are among 147 players who have officially filed for free agency.

9/2 Marlins 4, Cubs 3

Travis Wood served up two home runs, including a three-run shot to pitcher Henderson Alvarez, as the Marlins beat the Cubs, 4-3, on Monday. Wood was making his 28th start, a career high, and gave up four runs over seven innings. The Cubs scored all of their runs in the first and that was it. Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena and Anthony Rizzo hit consecutive singles in the Chicago first against Alvarez, tying the game when Castro scored on Rizzo’s hit. Dioner Navarro followed with another RBI single and Nate Schierholtz added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. Alvarez had to leave the game because of tightness in his hamstring.

Wood missed in his bid for his 22nd quality start. The last Cubs left-hander to reach that figure was Ken Holtzman, who totaled 25 in 1970. Since 1921, Dick Ellsworth’s 29 quality starts in 1963 pace Cubs lefties.

The Cubs now have lost 18 of their last 23 home games, and are 5-15 in one-run games at Wrigley Field. Chicago has not won three in a row at home since a four-game streak, July 6-9.

8/27 Cubs 3, Dodgers 2

Travis Wood stole the spotlight from Clayton Kershaw, this season’s favorite for the National League Cy Young Award, as the Cubs posted a 3-2 win and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Dodgers in front of a sellout crowd of 52,326.

“He’s the best pitcher in the game right now,” Wood said of Kershaw. “He’s an outstanding pitcher, and he had an off night tonight — on his off night, he held us to two runs. I was fortunate to go out there and make quick pitches and get quick outs.”

Dioner Navarro and Starlin Castro each hit RBI singles to hand Los Angeles’ its sixth loss in 26 games this month.

“This is the hottest team, but I think for all these guys, and especially the guys who were here last year and myself and the coaching staff, this is probably one of our most satisfying wins, that’s for sure,” Dale Sveum said.

The West Coast has not been kind to the Cubs, who went 1-18 on the road against the NL West last season. This was Chicago’s first win against Los Angeles since May 6, 2012.

Wood avoided going 0-for-August when he struck out six over seven innings for his first win since July 28. The only blemish off the Cubs lefty was a two-out RBI single by Juan Uribe in the sixth. Wood lost to the Dodgers on Aug. 2 at Wrigley Field, giving up five runs over an abbreviated 3 1/3 innings. Tuesday was much improved.

“Wood was an All-Star,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s been having success by staying out of the middle of the plate. He didn’t do it in Chicago, but he did a nice job tonight.”

The key may have been the Chicago first. Kershaw needed 29 pitches to get through the inning.

“I think that was huge for us,” Navarro said of the first. “We got his pitch count up a little bit. I knew Kershaw, and I knew he was going to throw at least six innings. We did a great job as a team, it was a great group effort and we did what we were supposed to do.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/23 Padres 8, Cubs 6

The Cubs scored a season-high six runs in the first inning, but it wasn’t enough for Edwin Jackson. Will Venable hit a two-run triple in the fifth and a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh, and rookie Jedd Gyorko smacked two home runs to help the Padres rally from a six-run first inning deficit and post an 8-6 victory Friday night over the Cubs at Petco Park. It wsa the largest come-from-behind win of the season for the Padres.

“For me not to come out and hold a lead, that’s just disappointing, it’s a terrible job, flat out,” Jackson said. “There’s no other way to put it.”

The Cubs sent a dozen batters to the plate in the first and opened a 6-0 lead, thanks to a three-run homer by Nate Schierholtz, his 19th, and a two-run triple by Brian Bogusevic. But the Cubs’ offense for the night lasted just that two-thirds of an inning.

Jackson served up a three-run home run to Gyorko, the slugger’s 15th, with one out in the fourth. The Padres had two on and one out again in the fifth when Will Venable smacked a two-run triple. It is part of an unfortunate trend with Jackson. He holds batters to a .256 average the first time through the lineup, but they are hitting .313 the third time.

“To pretty much sum it up, I got beat on two breaking balls,” Jackson said. “I gave up a three-run homer [to Gyorko] on a hanging slider. I was throwing strikes, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t throwing strikes. I left too good of pitches in the zone for them to hit long balls with men on base. That pretty much sums it up.”

Was the problem pitch selection?

“It was just terrible location,” Jackson said. “[The pitches] were pretty much over the plate and hanging. It was just terrible, bad pitches. It wasn’t pitch selection, just location.”

Said Cubs manager Dale Sveum: “You can’t throw big league hitters balls down the middle.”

Said Navarro: “He missed his location and was pitching up in the zone a little bit, and when you pitch up in the zone, bad things happen.”

Yes, they do. With the game tied in the seventh, pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno singled off Jackson, who was pulled in favor of James Russell. The lefty picked off Cedeno, but then served up Venable’s homer to let the Padres go ahead, 7-6.

“Once again, it was bad pitch selection,” Sveum said. “You’re not supposed to throw [Venable] a slider, and he threw him a slider.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/13 Cubs lineup

Dioner Navarro gets his first start behind the plate since injuring his right ankle when the Cubs play host to the Reds Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Navarro was injuryed last Wednesday in a collision at home plate with the Phillies’ Chase Utley. Jeff Samardzija takes the mound. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus LF
Lake CF
Rizzo 1B
Navarro C
Schierholtz RF
Castro SS
Murphy 3B
Barney 2B
Samardzija P

8/10 Cubs 6, Cardinals 5

Manager Dale Sveum only needed to see two things from Dioner Navarro on Saturday to know whether his backup catcher and top bench player was able to play three days after being carted off the field.

“Just walk and squat,” Sveum said of the requirements. “One time was fine enough.”

Navarro also was ready to hit. Darwin Barney smacked a game-tying two-run double in the eighth and Navarro followed with a pinch-hit RBI double to lift the Cubs to a motivated 6-5 victory over the Cardinals.

Nate Schierholtz delivered a RBI single in the ninth, which turned out to be much needed as Matt Holliday hit his second home run of the game in the St. Louis ninth off Kevin Gregg. Welington Castillo hit a solo home run and sacrifice fly for the Cubs, who came into this series with a few more incentives than past matchups. Adam Wainwright was originally scheduled to start Saturday but was skipped so he could be ready for St. Louis’ upcoming series against Pittsburgh. The Cubs felt snubbed.

“If you look at it from their point of view, you don’t really try to take offense to that kind of stuff,” Barney said. “Obviously, we knew what happened, and it wasn’t not talked about, I’ll say that. That young kid [Michael Wacha] threw well today and he has good stuff. It’s not like they were throwing a nobody against us. It’s one of those things.”

Wacha, making his fourth big league start, served up Castillo’s home run leading off the Chicago second. Holliday belted a three-run homer off Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva with one out in the fourth to go ahead, 3-1. Castillo added a sacrifice fly in the fifth but Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran hit back to back doubles in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.

In the eighth, Trevor Rosenthal walked Castillo and Schierholtz, then struck out the next two batters. Barney, batting .211, then lined a double to right to drive in both and tie the game.

“People are always, ‘Why don’t you pinch-hit for Barney?'” Sveum said. “It’s because he’s the one guy who is going to battle and put the ball in play and do baseball player-type things.”

Navarro arrived in St. Louis about five hours before game time. He injured his right ankle in a collision at home plate on Wednesday in Philadelphia with Chase Utley, and had gone to Chicago to be examined. Prior to the game, Navarro had to do some agility drills — as well as walk and squat — and was pronounced fit. He didn’t take batting practice but it didn’t seem to matter as he lined a 97 mph fastball from Rosenthal to right.

“He gets here today,” Barney said, “and he hadn’t taken a swing, he didn’t take batting practice, and he’s one of those guys who’s a gamer. Turn on 98 [mph] like that after not seeing a pitch in three days is pretty unbelievable.”

Blake Parker picked up his first Major League win in relief, and Gregg hung on for his 25th save, and survived David Freese’s liner off his right shoulder.

With the win, the Cubs notched their first series victory at Busch Stadium since sweeping the Cardinals in a three-game set, Sept. 13-15, 2010. The two teams square off next weekend at Wrigley Field. Wainwright’s next start, by the way, is Tuesday against the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Navarro ready to go

When Dioner Navarro was injured last Wednesday after a collision at home plate, the Cubs catcher originally thought he broke his right ankle. But after a few minutes, he could move his foot, and figured he would walk off the field. Cubs assistant athletic trainer Ed Halbur insisted Navarro be taken off on a cart because they weren’t sure about the extent of the injury.

“First of all, I didn’t want to get carted off,” Navarro said Saturday. “I almost punched Ed in the face and told him I wanted to walk off the field. When the play first happened, I definitely thought I broke my ankle. When [Halbur] first came out, my first thought was I broke my ankle.”

And now that Navarro was proclaimed ready to go on Saturday, three days after the incident, who is the catcher’s hero? Halbur. That’s because he tapes Navarro’s ankles before every game and that may have helped prevent a fracture.

“Ed is definitely keeping his job,” Navarro said.

Navarro was examined Friday in Chicago, and the medical staff determined he did not need to go on the disabled list. On Saturday, the catcher did agility drills, hit, and squatted, and pronounced himself ready to go. When could he catch again?

“Today,” Navarro said. “I actually felt a little bit faster than before when I was doing the drills.”

The Cubs will wait a few days. Manager Dale Sveum admitted he was surprised to see how well Navarro felt.

“I’ve never seen him move like that,” Sveum said.

Navarro did have some doubts as he was riding off the field on the cart at Citizens Bank Park.

“Once I got on the cart going out, a lot of things, especially negative things started going through my mind,” Navarro said. “But after the X-ray and overnight the way it felt, I knew it wasn’t going to be as bad.”

He’s watched a replay of the collision with Chase Utley once.

“It was a clean play, two ballplayers making a good baseball play,” Navarro said. “I was hoping [Utley] was a little sore the next day but he was in the lineup.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Navarro is back

Dioner Navarro, who was last seen being carted off the field after a collision at home plate Wednesday in Philadelphia, was doing agility work and light jogging in the outfield prior to Saturday’s game against the Cardinals. The Cubs backup catcher was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, but it was determined that he did not need to go on the DL. That’s good news, as Navarro was batting .284. He was injured in a collision with the Phillies’ Chase Utley at home.

— Carrie Muskat