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Cubs sign catcher Dioner Navarro to one-year contract

The veteran switch-hitter will fight for a back-up role with the club.

Dilip Vishwanat

The Chicago Cubs picked up some catching depth on Thursday, signing veteran backstop Dioner Navarro to a one-year, $1.75 million contract, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

The Chicago Cubs acquired a backup-catcher candidate Thursday, signing free agent and former Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Dioner Navarro to a one-year, $1.75 million deal…

Navarro, who turns 29 next year, will compete for the backup catching job behind starter Welington Castillo.

The switch-hitting Navarro spent the majority of 2012 playing for the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate, hitting an impressive .319/.382/.449 with five home runs in sixty-two games there. Navarro also appeared sparingly for the big-league club, hitting .290/.306/.449 with two home runs in twenty-four games with the Reds.

The veteran catcher has now played parts of nine seasons in the majors, getting his most regular playing time with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2007-2009. His short stint with Cincinnati this past season was a major rebound from his two prior years, when he hit under the Mendoza Line in part-time action with the Rays and Dodgers.