The Rays have likely seen the last of Dioner Navarro, a 2008 AL All-Star, after he was left off the Rays playoff roster.
But could it be the beginning of a career in Boston for the 26-year-old catcher?
Navarro went home upon hearing he was kept off the roster despite the club asking him to stick around should they need him, according to tampabay.com.
According to mlbtraderumors.com, "the Dodgers, Marlins, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox and Padres are among the teams that could be looking for catching depth this winter," and are likely front-runners in testing the Navarro waters this offseason.
This interest shouldn't shock many in Red Sox Nation as the Sox are known to leave no stone unturned when it comes to team needs. The club took a flier on Jarrod Saltalamacchia late this past summer, despite the once-promising prospect falling off a bit both offensively and defensively recently.
Though Navarro had a dreadful 2010, he has the goods, which he proved when he hit .295 and was second in the AL in caught-stealing percentage (38.4 percent) in 120 games in 2008. Perhaps a change of scenery could switch things up? It worked for Adrian Beltre in 2010, on a much larger scale, of course.
The Rays won't beg Navarro to stay as the backstop earned $2.1 million this year and hit just .194 with one homer and seven RBIs in 48 games. Navarro saw limited action this season (48 games) and was sent to the minors for two months and rarely played after his Sept. 1 recall. Tampa also already has a strong backstop tandem of Kelly Shoppach and John Jaso for next summer so it's safe to assume the seven-year vet is jobless.
Should the Sox look into Navarro as a catching option in 2011? Fans and media alike have been hard on the Sox and their lack of defense behind the dish, and Navarro, who has a career .990 fielding percentage, may be able to offer them late-inning support should they re-sign Victor Martinez and don't see Jason Varitek return.