On the same day their former catcher Russell Martin signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers brought back a name from the past, signing catcher Dioner Navarro to a one-year, $1 million contract. Navarro caught for the Dodgers in 2005, and began 2006 as the starter until injuring his wrist early in the season. Martin, then a rookie, took over and the job was his for the better part of five years, while Navarro was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays later that season.
Navarro was an American League All-Star in 2008 for the Rays, but has struggled since. Since the beginning of the 2009 season, Navarro hit just .212/.263/.306 and ultimately lost his job in Tampa to John Jaso. Navarro was left off the Rays' postseason roster, and he left the team as a result. Navarro made $2.1 million in 2010, and was eligible for salary arbitration, but the Rays did not tender Navarro a contract on December 2, making him a free agent.
"We know Dioner well from his previous stint in Los Angeles and we are comfortable with how he handles a pitching staff," said general manager Ned Colletti. "He’s a solid Major League catcher and we’re looking forward to his contributions behind the plate next season." Navarro is expected to split time with Rod Barajas, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract last month.
The Dodgers now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
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