CHICAGO -- Dioner Navarro was texting with a player on the Toronto Blue Jays prior to Friday night's action when that particular player asked Navarro if he heard anything about the Blue Jays pursuing him again.
"When I was explaining the trade, he was typing in, 'Yeah, I just heard something,'" said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who informed Navarro of his trade to the Blue Jays in exchange for left-handed pitcher Colton Turner in the home clubhouse during batting practice.
"He was in some ways a little shocked by the news," Hahn added. "He was a little surprised that he was getting moved, but appreciated the new opportunity to go back to somewhere where he was comfortable."
Some might consider the move of Navarro, who agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal during this past offseason, as the unofficial beginning of the White Sox rebuild. Hahn acknowledged dialogue continues with "a lot of different clubs on a handful of different players." But this move is as much about giving rookie Omar Narvaez extra at-bats and starts behind the plate.
"As we talked about yesterday, Omar has done a nice job putting himself on the map playing a role here over the next few years," Hahn said. "And this should likely give him a few more opportunities over the next four or five weeks to play on a regular basis."
Catcher Alex Avila was returned from his injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list to take Navarro's place. The team's 40-man roster currently stands at 39.
Turner, 25, has combined to go 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA over 54 innings pitched, with 70 strikeouts and 13 saves over 44 relief appearances this season between Class A Lansing, Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays' system. He averaged 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings, allowed just one home run and limited opponents to a .201 average, including a .144 mark by right-handers. He will be assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
He was 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings over 35 games between Lansing and Dunedin, including a season-opening streak of 25.0 consecutive scoreless innings, to earn a promotion to New Hampshire where Turner went 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA over nine appearances. Turner is 12-9 with a 2.76 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 107 games (16 starts) over five seasons in the Blue Jays' system after being selected in the 21st round of the 2012 draft.
"You can obviously see from the numbers he has done impressive work against righties for a left-handed reliever, which is nice to see," Hahn said. "Fastball [94-95 mph] slider mix, good command. He came back from Tommy John [surgery] last season and pitched this past winter in Australia and ever since he got back, he seems to have hit his stride well."
Either Charlotte catcher Kevan Smith or Birmingham catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, who are both on the White Sox 40-man, figures to be part of the September callups. But finding a starting catcher for 2017, as the development continues for Zack Collins, the team's top pick in the 2016 Draft, and 10th selection overall, remains a priority.
"There are some options in the pipeline," Hahn said. "But certainly heading into this offseason, we are going to find a direction for 2017 and some answers for 2017 behind the plate."
"It stinks," said Sale of the Navarro trade, speaking after his complete-game, 3-1 loss to the Mariners. "Any time one of your buddies walks out the door it's not fun. It might be a little bittersweet for him, going back to a familiar place, be on a team that's winning. He's definitely going to be missed here, no doubt."