Under-The-Radar Options For The 2014 Mariners
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Navarro had a sneaky good year for the Cubs, but people probably have no idea. He picked up 266 plate appearances, and posted a .300/.365/.492 line with a career high 13 home runs. That is by far the best offensive performance of his career, so there is a good chance he never comes close to it again. His 136 wRC+ was 53 points higher than his career 83 mark, another red flag.
But there is something that suggests he can contribute going forward, yet maybe not to the same extent. Navarro has a career 108 wRC+ against left handed pitching, and posted a 208 against them last year. That is absolutely amazing for the record, even though it won’t happen again.
The Mariners need another catcher to backup Mike Zunino, or even better knock him down to Triple-A for a little while longer. And even if Zunino gets most of the time, if Navarro is even a shell of himself against lefties this year, he could probably be a platoon option at first base or DH. Best of all, Navarro will likely come cheap, and considering he plays average defense at catcher, doesn’t need to hit amazingly well to be of value.