*Dioner Favian Navarro’ was born on February 9, 1984 in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. He is nicknamed “Little Pudge” due to his physical resemblance to Yankees catcher Iván Rodríguez. He is also called “Navi” by Rays fans and the teams’ announcers and TV commentators.Minor LeaguesIn 2000, Dioner was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent. *Major Leagues’Dioner made his debute with the Yankees as a September call-up, on September 7, 2004, and played in seven games, batting .429 (3-for-7) with one RBI and two runs scored.
Before the 2005 season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team deal that sent Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Yankees, Javier Vázquez from the Yankees to the Diamondbacks, Shawn Green from the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks, and several other minor leaguers to the Dodgers.
In 2006, both Dioner and Russell Martin were invited to spring training to compete for the position of starting catcher. Dioner won the job, but was injured on 5 May 2006, and was replaced by Martin. Dioner was subsequently sent back to the minors.
|Team||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Born||9 Feb 1984|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2006 - present|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2005 - 2006|
|New York Yankees||2004|
On June 26, 2006, he was traded along with pitcher Jae Seo and outfielder Justin Ruggiano to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for catcher Toby Hall and pitcher Mark Hendrickson.
Navarro made his debut as a Ray on June 28, 2006 against the Florida Marlins.
In 2007 he batted only .227 and tied for the lead of all major league catchers in errors, with 14.
His game was much improved in 2008, however, after working on his hitting and his strength in the Venezuelan Winter League.
PersonalDioner married his wife, Sherley, at age 18; they have a son, Dioner Jr. (b. 2005), and she has a son, Gerson, from a previous relationship. They live in Riverview, Florida.