October 07, 2010
No waiting around in case one of them gets injured and needs to be replaced.
No sticking close to provide moral support for the teammates he's grown close with.
INF/DH Willy Aybar(notes), whose exclusion from the roster was a much bigger surprise (as the Rays chose OF/DH Rocco Baldelli(notes) and OF Desmond Jennings(notes)), and four left-off pitchers — RHP Andy Sonnanstine(notes), RHP Lance Cormier(notes) and rookies RHP Jeremy Hellickson(notes) and LHP Jake McGee(notes) — all stayed with the team.
But Navarro, who was sent to the minors for two months and played sparingly after his Sept. 1 recall (10 games, five starts), declined, and seemingly brought his tenure with the Rays to a bad ending. He made $2.1 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration again.
There's no doubt that the 26-year-old Navarro had to be disappointed. After all, he played in every playoff game during the 2008 World Series run. He likely wanted another shot, but his rapidly declining play since that '08 season didn't deserve it. There was probably some pride involved in his departure.
But even though he had no guaranteed financial tie to the team (like others do), it still doesn't make sense that he wouldn't stick around on the chance he'd get an opportunity to play. It's not like it's a possibility that is out of the question, either. The Rays just pulled Baldelli from the roster and replaced him with Willy Aybar.
I mean, wouldn't even a slight prospect of playing time be enough to keep you around?
And let's say you didn't care about your teammates: Wouldn't you still want to keep up the appearance of a good soldier for any future teams that might want to employ you next season?
For Dioner Navarro, the answer to both questions is "apparently not."
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