DANIEL NAVA, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: February 22, 1983
Signed: Minor league free agent, 2008 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Santa Clara University
Agents: ISE Baseball
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Nava was an unlikely candidate to have a major league career. He was unable to make his college team as a walk-on, but grew four inches while in college and eventually posted OPS figures over 1.000 in three years of college play. He went undrafted and signed on in independent ball, where he had a big season. The Red Sox signed him and he hit his way to the majors in less than three years. He’s a solid hitter with only modest power who’s usually had good OBPs due to good walk rates, although his plate discipline has been up and down some since he got past AA. Nava is a switch hitter, but he’s had significant trouble hitting LHPs; he has a career OPS of just .589 against them, compared to .778 against RHPs. He doesn’t run well and is limited to the outfield corners, where he’s probably about average according to UZR. He’s played 53 games, 24 of them starts, at first base in his major league career. Nava had a good season for Boston in 2013, but fell off in 2014 and spent 2015-16 battling injuries. He bounced back partly with the Phillies in 2017, but again missed significant time due to a series of injuries. The Pirates signed Nava to a minor league deal for 2018, with an invitation to spring training.
Nava signed with Chico of the independent Golden Baseball League and had a huge season. The Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract after the season.
Boston sent Nava to their California League affiliate. He played only sporadically at first, but eventually hit his way into a regular role.
Nava missed most of the season’s first half due to injury. Boston eventually sent him back to high A, this time in the much-less-extreme hitting environment of the Carolina League. He continued to hit very well and finished the season in AA, where he hit even better.
Nava opened the season in AAA and continued to hit well, although without the gaudy numbers of the previous two years. The Sox called him up in mid-June and he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors. He was up and down several times the rest of the year and hit respectably in the majors, with a good walk rate but some trouble making contact.
The Sox kept Nava in AAA the entire season. He had just a fair year, with excellent plate discipline but only modest power.
After opening the year in AAA, Nava got called up in May. He spent the rest of the year with the Red Sox, except for a brief rehab after he missed three weeks in August with a sprained wrist. He hit just respectably in the majors, but with a good OBP due to a high walk rate.
Nava spent the season with Boston and had his best year. He got off to a good start and earned more or less regular playing time. His numbers were helped by a high, but not outlandish, BABIP of .352.
Nava started the season in the majors, but slumped and got sent to AAA in late April. He returned after a month and spent the rest of the season with Boston. He fell off from the previous year, partly due to a lower walk rate and higher K rate.
Nava got off to a very slow start with Boston, then went on the disabled list in late May with a sprained thumb. He ultimately missed two months, not counting a AAA rehab. The Red Sox designated him for assignment in late July and Tampa Bay claimed him. He spent the rest of the season with the Rays and didn’t do much apart from a good walk rate. He became a free agent after the season and signed a one-year contract with the Angels.
Nava missed most of the season’s first half with knee and groin injuries. He rejoined the Angels in mid-June and batted .284 through the end of July, but with little power and less patience than he’d shown in the past. The Angels outrighted him in early August and then traded him to the Royals at the end of the month. Kansas City called him up about a week later and he spent the rest of the season in the majors, getting only a dozen plate appearances. The Royals non-tendered Nava after the season and he signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.
Nava made the Phillies’ roster out of spring training. He had something of a bounceback year, although he was again plagued by injuries. He went on the disabled list in May and July with a strained hamstring, then missed two weeks in August with a back strain. He reinjured his back in mid-September and missed the rest of the season. When he played, he showed the patience at the plate he’d shown earlier in his career. He was also helped by a .357 BABIP.
Nava was expected to compete for a bench role with the Pirates during spring training, but he started having back problems at the beginning of the spring and ended up having surgery. The Pirates released him afterward, then signed him to another minor league deal three days later. He was originally expected to miss 10-12 weeks, but he had a setback in his recovery and the Pirates announced in July that he’d miss the entire season.
Nava will be a free agent after the season.
|2018: Minor league salary
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 6/12/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: 2018
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 6/12/2010 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2010, 2011, 2014)
MLB Service Time: 6.024
|January 17, 2008: Signed by the Boston Red Sox as a minor league free agent.
June 12, 2010: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
May 20, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox; outrighted to AAA on May 26.
May 10, 2012: Called up by the Boston Red Sox.
July 30, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox.
August 5, 2015: Claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox by the Tampa Bay Rays.
November 20, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays; refused assignment and became a free agent on November 25.
December 12, 2016: Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels.
July 30, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels; outrighted to AAA on August 4.
August 29, 2016: Traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later or cash.
September 6, 2016: Called up by the Kansas City Royals.
November 8, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals; refused assignment and became a free agent.
December 12, 2016: Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a minor league free agent.
March 30, 2017: Called up by the Philadelphia Phillies.
November 2, 2017: Became a free agent.
February 9, 2018: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
March 20, 2018: Released by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
March 23, 2018: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.