clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

More on Arbitration and Dioner Navarro

New, 2 comments

Back to what is "fair value" for Dioner Navarro. Navarro made around 400k last year and I thought the Rays offer of $2.1 million is a pretty nice jump for a 24 year old catcher. But then I noticed that John Buck was arbitration eligible for the first time in 2007 and received a $2.2 million dollar contract and avoided the arbitration hearing. Yes,  that John Buck who has a career OBP of less than .300.

Again, I'm dumbing down the numbers for arbitration argument purposes.

Buck

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

CS%

2007

0.222

0.308

0.429

0.737

17

Navarro

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

CS%

2008

0.295

0.349

0.407

0.756

35.7

Navarro wins handily in BA and despite Buck's higher SLG%, Navi still wins on OPS. He also more than doubles Buck's CS% and has the argument of being named an All Star.

However, because we are discussing arbitration we have to look at career numbers.  Here are their career numbers at the point of eligibility.

 

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

CS%

Navarro

0.263

0.327

0.376

0.703

30.75

Buck

0.236

0.295

0.410

0.705

30.75


Again, Buck has more pop in his bat, there is no argument there. His boost in SLG carries his OPS to just a tick over Navarro's. However, Navarro's BA is almost 30 points higher and he is on-base 32% more. Also, Buck had racked up 349 career strikeouts at this point while Navarro has just 188. Age is also a consideration. Buck was 27 by 2007, while Navarro is still 24. I don't see anyway you can justify paying Buck more than Navarro, but Dayton Moore is no Andrew Friedman.

The final comparison I wanted to make is Yadier Molina. Like Navi, Molina is a young catcher who has had mixed success at the plate. Molina was arbitration eligible for the first time after 2007. He was coming off a pretty solid season following pretty awful one. From 2006 to 2007, his OPS jumped 113 points . Sound similar? It should. Navarro did Molina one better by uping his OPS 114 points from 2007 to 2008 and while Molina is the better defensive catcher, Navarro is still 50 points higher in OPS.

Molina BA OBP SLG OPS CS%
2006 0.216 0.274 0.321 0.595 50
2007 0.275 0.340 0.368 0.708 30.6

Navarro BA OBP SLG OPS CS%
2007 0.227 0.286 0.356 0.642 25.3
2008 0.295 0.349 0.407 0.756 35.7

In January 2008 the Cardinals gave Molina a four year, $15.5 million dollar contract that took care of all his arbitration years and "bought" his first year of free agency. Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming arbitration hearing, and regardless whether you agree with the Rays negotiation practices, I believe that a deal similar to Molina's is in the best interest of all parties involved. We are past that point right now, but nobody says they can't talk about an extension during the 2009 season.