Friday, October 8, 2010

Weasel of the Week: Dioner Navarro

Two years ago, Dioner Navarro was the starting catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who at one time was a top prospect of the Yankees.

Today, however, with the Rays on the verge of being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Texas Rangers, Navarro is nowhere to be found in the Rays' dugout. Navarro, in a clear case of "what have you done for us lately", was left off the Rays' ALDS roster in favor of Kelly Shoppach, whom the Rays acquired from Cleveland in the off-season, and rookie John Jaso. Navarro's not the only one who was left off the 25-man roster, but others who were, such as Willy Aybar, remained with the team, ready to be activated at a moment's notice in case of an injury or managerial decision. Aybar, in fact, was added to the roster, replacing comeback kid Rocco Baldelli after Wednesday's 5-1 loss.

It may seem like sour grapes, but Navarro should know better. His actions suggest that his next move may be to ask the Rays to either cut him or trade him, allowing him to ply his trade elsewhere next year. I'm sure the Yankees would love to have him back, only they already have a heir apparent to Jorge Posada in second year man Francisco Cervelli. The Rays will happily oblige, provided that, if they trade him, they get something of value in return. Letting him become a free agent does nothing for the Rays in the long term.

Navarro does get something out of this post-season, though. A set of weasel ears.

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