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Cubs could use Navarro as bait as trade deadline looms

Updated: July 31, 2013 2:52PM

As Major League Baseball enters the final hour before today’s 3 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, the Cubs best shot at getting another trade done could involve the rival St. Louis Cardinals’ concern over All-Star catcher Yadier Molina’s knee.

The Cards have struggled lately, trailing the Pirates for the division lead, but still leading the N.L. wild-card standings.

But Molina’s balky knee is bad enough he’s going on the disabled list, and Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro appears to be the top fit among available catchers.

Sources say they expect Navarro to be in play for the Cards and that trading within the division is not a problem, least of all for the Cubs.

Navarro, a former All-Star is a strong enough game-caller that Matt Garza requested he be his personal catcher – then went 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in six starts teamed with Navarro.

The switch-hitter also has shown good power in part-time play and has one of the stronger arms behind the plate in the game.

The Cubs also were looking at possible trades of closer Kevin Gregg, and outfielders David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz as the deadline approached – with a Schierholtz deal looking at least possible.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who are seeking outfield help, have been following the Cubs much of the past two weeks, including this week’s series against Milwaukee.

One possibility for Schierholtz, however, would be to keep him – he has a year of arbitration eligibility left – and seek better offers over the winter or at next year’s deadline.

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