The Chicago Cubs signed veteran catcher Dioner Navarro to a one-year contract on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Navarro batted .290 over a brief 24-game stint with the Cincinnati Reds last season, but spent much of the year at the minor-league level before a late-season suspension afforded him extended playing time. While he set career highs with a .295 average and 54 RBI with Tampa Bay back in 2008, Navarro has struggled mightily to replicate his production level since leaving the Rays the following year.
Expected to battle with both Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger at catcher next season, Navarro gives the Cubs a veteran presence with exactly 18 postseason games under his belt. Though Navarro has recorded less than 400 at-bats combined over the last three seasons, the Cubs clearly feel that his 2012 numbers are strong enough to warrant the price tag.