The Chicago White Sox agreed to sign free agent catcher Dioner Navarro to a one-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Thursday morning. The deal is pending a physical.
The acquisition of Navarro came together quickly after the team decided to non-tender catcher Tyler Flowers yesterday.
The soon to be 32-year-old will join Alex Avila as the White Sox's main catching tandem in 2016. The switch-hitting Navarro has hit for a career .775 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) against left-handed pitching. Avila has hit for a .781 OPS against right-handed pitching.
Last season while with the Blue Jays, Navarro only appeared in 54 games. He served as the team's backup catcher behind Russell Martin. In limited action, Navarro hit for a .246 average, .307 on-base percentage, and .374 slugging percentage in 192 plate appearances. He hit five home runs and drove in 20 runs.
When he received more playing time in 2014, Navarro was a much better offensive catcher, posting a .274/.317/.395 line with 12 home runs and 69 RBIs in 520 plate appearances.
The White Sox struggled to find offensive production from their catchers in 2015. Their catchers posted a 79 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) which ranked 19th in the Major Leagues.
The catching free agent market has been robust during free agency thus far. Matt Wieters, Chris Iannetta, A.J. Pierzynski, and other receivers have found their destination in free agency.