New Jays catcher knows what it's like to go through struggles

The Blue Jays have signed catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year, $8-million contract. Navarro has...

The Blue Jays have signed catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year, $8-million contract. Navarro has turned his career around after training with Joey Votto. (REUTERS)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

TORONTO - If there’s anyone on this earth who might fully understand how far and how fast J.P. Arencibia has fallen, it might be Dioner Navarro, the guy the Blue Jays have hired to replace him.

This is a clear case of “Been there. Done that.”

Coming off a solid rebound season with the Chicago Cubs after several years in baseball’s wilderness, Navarro and the Blue Jays have agreed to a two-year, $8-million contract that will pay him $3 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015, pending a physical exam.

With that signing, Arencibia’s time in Toronto is clearly over. It’s understood that, with Monday’s midnight non-tender deadline approaching, the Jays were trying to engineer a trade for Arencibia. If that didn’t materialize, then if they failed to tender him a contract offer Monday, he would become a free agent.

Arencibia, hailed as Toronto’s catcher of the future, sealed his fate with a horrible season in 2013, both at the plate and behind it.


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