The Milwaukee Brewers need a starting catcher. The Seattle Mariners are rumored to be shopping catcher Omar Narvaez. Could the two teams work out a deal?
Yasmani Grandal has already held up his new jersey and posted a ‘good-bye’ message on Instagram. Travis d’Arnaud just signed with the Atlanta Braves. The catching market appears to be moving quickly this off season, and the Milwaukee Brewers may have to get creative to find another catcher to pair with Manny Pina.
How did Narvaez do in 2019?
Narvaez posted a .278/.353/.460 slash line in 132 games for the Mariners last year. He racked up 482 plate appearances, bashed 22 homers, drove in 55 runs, and scored 63 times. However, he’s not the greatest behind the dish and only posted a 1.8 WAR.
Does Narvaez fit with the Brewers?
He’s a left-handed hitting, hit-first catcher, so yes, he’d fit in Milwaukee. Narvaez showed that he’s capable of handling a full work load behind the plate in 2019. He does struggle with left-handed pitching as evidenced by his .227/.379/.320 slash line against lefties in 2019, but Pina is solid against southpaws. In 2019, Pina managed a .319/.395/.569 slash line in 81 plate appearances against lefties. The Brewers could roll with Narvaez against right-handers, and work in Pina whenever they face a left-hander. It’s an ideal platoon for Milwaukee.
What kind of a deal would it take to get Narvaez?
Narvaez will turn 28 years old before Opening Day. This off season will be his first year of arbitration eligibility and he comes with three years of team control in total before hitting free agency.
Flipping Corey Ray for Narvaez feels like an overpay, but the Mariners could ask for a few Minor League arms in exchange for a left-handed, offensive-minded catcher in his prime years. Would one of the Brewers young, toolsy catchers be enough to get Narvaez? With extras? Maybe? A package of Payton Henry or Mario Feliciano and an intriguing arm like Drew Rasmussen might get the job done. The Brewers could look to move one of the dozen or so outfielders that they always have in their top 30 prospects list to acquire Narvaez.
The Brewers don’t have a great farm system, but they do have enough to get the Mariners to move Narvaez. With the catcher market moving quickly, the Mariners could look to work out a deal before or during the upcoming Winter Meetings. This is a rumor that fans should definitely keep in mind when the news really starts swirling after the holiday.