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Dioner Navarro's Arbitration Hearing: Feb 9th

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That information comes courtesy of The Heater. Tommy has killed the catcher comparisons over the past few weeks leaving me with little to add. I was a bit surprised there weren't long-term extension talks, but then again, I think the Rays are taking his 2008 as another data point, rather than reading into it as the beginning of a trend. Yes, Navarro is probably going to be good for a while, but there's some understandable concerns.

- A batting average on balls in play of .321 despite a .292 career BABIP. Is that sustainable? Well his line drive percentages would suggest so, since he hits around 21% liners.

- Otherwise was unchanged offensively. Similar O-Swing%, BB%, a lowered K%, and a lowered HR/FB%. The improvement was almost completely BABIP driven.

- Given that information, it's important to recall his 2007 BABIP was .253 and .294 in 2006. Here's a fun game: 2007's BABIP + 2008's BABIP = 0.574. Average that and you have .287, within 0.005 points of his career average.  It's almost like all that regression crap is real.

- If we accept that Navarro's BABIP was simply regressing in 2008, then let's assume it will also regress in 2009 closer to his career total. If Navarro puts 371 balls into play again next season we're talking about a difference of 11 non-homerun hits. That would be bad.

- 2.7 win value last season. His win value over the past three years is 4.2 total, or 1.4 yearly. Again, he's likely on the upswing, but it's important to not assume that Navarro is a true talent 3 win player. Yes, he's young, yes he could be a 3 win player, but is he necessarily one? No.

- The math: ~1.4 * 4.84 = 6.8. Navarro is in his first year of arbitration, so we'll take 40% of that and get a reasonable estimate, if imperfect. That results in 2.72 mil. If you say that teams are paying closer to 4.5 mil for their wins, you get 2.52 mil.