Blue Jays agree to two-year deal with Dioner Navarro

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The catcher will receive a two-year, $8 million deal that is pending a physical.

The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to sign catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year, $8 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The deal is pending a physical.

Navarro, who turns 30 in February, will immediately become Toronto's starting catcher after drawing significant interest on the free agent market this offseason. In addition to the Blue Jays, the Twins, Marlins and Red Sox were among the teams interested in Navarro before he agreed to a deal with Toronto.

The addition of Navarro likely means the end of J.P. Arencibia's time with the Blue Jays, and he will likely be traded or non-tendered by the club in the near future. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos recently said that the team would be willing to keep Arencibia in a backup role, but his value to other teams likely means that a trade is the more likely scenario.

After bouncing back and forth between the majors and minors for a couple of seasons, Navarro rebounded nicely in 2013 and set himself up for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. After signing a one-year deal with the Cubs last November, Navarro hit .300 with 13 HR and 34 RBI, and drew trade interest over the summer from teams like the Cardinals.

With Navarro and Brian McCann off the board, teams looking for catching on the free agent market are looking at a limited list of options. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is expected to receive a three- or four-year deal, is still available, along with A.J. Pierzynski, who is reportedly making progress on a deal with the Twins. Teams may have to look to the trade market to get a deal done, with players like Arencibia and Reds' catcher Ryan Hanigan among the available names.

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