Brewers Sign Omar Narvaez Ahead of Non-Tender Deadline

Omar Narvaez, Milwaukee Brewers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Omar Narvaez, Milwaukee Brewers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

You can now make that two arbitration eligible players that the Brewers were able to secure with deals ahead of the non-tender deadline.

The MLB non-tender deadline is just about here and fans are finally starting to find out which players will be staying with the team. It’s now come out that the Brewers have avoided arbitration with catcher Omar Narvaez ahead of the non-tender deadline.

The report first came out by Jon Heyman on twitter.

Prior to the prorated salaries in 2020, Narvaez’s contract had him slated to earn $2.725MM. With this off-season being his second season of arbitration he was slated to potentially earn up to $3.1MM in arbitration per the MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections.

With the arbitration process players can earn 20% less of their previous season’s salary. By avoiding arbitration Narvaez is roughly taking an 8% pay cut. However, he is not the first Brewers today to take a pay decrease as Orlando Arcia also is returning to the Brewers on a $2MM non-guaranteed contract.

Tendering Omar Narvaez could be a bargain of a deal for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021 as he is a great candidate for a bounce back season.

While his defense was much improved in 2020, in his first season as a Milwaukee Brewer, Narvaez disappointed greatly from an offensive standpoint. His 2020 offensive numbers were significantly below his career slash line of .267/.355/.398/.753.

He has been a rather consistent .260 to .270 hitter throughout his five-year career and set a career high in home runs (22) in 2019 with the Mariners. Unfortunately, in 2020, Narvaez was unable to get into any sort of offensive rhythm nor drive the ball for power.

With being a left-handed batter the Milwaukee Brewers likely will need a right-handed hitter to pair with Narvaez for 2021. The Brewers have a decision to make on teammate Manny Pina tonight but also have Jacob Nottingham, Luke Maile, David Freitas, and Mario Feliciano all on the 40-man roster.

While I’m sure there are some fans who were not pleased with Omar Narvaez’s performance in 2020 and would rather see him non-tendered, a big factor into him returning next season may be due to the rather weak catchers market. Besides J.T. Realmuto and James McCann, who may be out of the Brewers price range, the catching free agent market is rather weak.

This off-season owners are feeling an increased financial burden after the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 regular season. The fact the Milwaukee Brewers have now convinced two players to take pay cuts is incredible and indicates a lot about what is to come this off-season.

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Stay tuned tonight at Reviewing the Brew for more updates on the tender deadline and how the decisions affect the Milwaukee Brewers!