Brewers: Former Starting Catcher Heading to the Big Apple
By Matt Carroll
The theme of this week appears to be Milwaukee Brewers catchers, whether that's new ones or former ones.
Things kicked off early this week when the Crew acquired their catcher of the future. It was on Monday that Milwaukee took part in a three-team mega trade that brought William Contreras in from the Braves along with a couple other pitchers.
That move gave the Brewers a long-term solution at the position. Contreras has a whopping five years of control remaining, which also means that he will be making the league minimum this season, allowing the team to focus some of their financial resources elsewhere.
Of course, part of the reason that the Brewers even needed to bring in Contreras is because their primary starting catcher of the last three years, Omar Narvaez, was a free agent. On Thursday, it was learned where the backstop will be playing in 2023.
On Thursday, former Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez signed a free agent deal with the New York Mets.
With seemingly endless amounts of money with which to spend on their 2023 roster, the Mets went out and added yet another player to their squad. FanSided's own Robert Murray had alluded to the deal that night.
Narvaez originally came to the Brewers ahead of the 2020 season in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. With a reputation as an offense first catcher that needed work on defense, the hope was that he would replace the recently departed Yasmani Grandal for the next three seasons.
Unfortunately, that offense only materialized in two of his three seasons in Milwaukee. Granted, his one year was quite good as he slashed .266/.342/.402 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in a 2021 season that saw him reach his lone All-Star game.
His other two seasons, though, were pretty bad. He slashed .176/.294/.269 over 40 games in 2020 and a slightly-better-but-still-bad .206/.292/.305 in 2022 over 84 games in 2022. He had just 16 doubles, six homers, and 33 RBIs in those two seasons combined.
Despite that, the Brewers were actually able to turn Narvaez into a pretty good defensive catcher. His framing metrics improved in his time with Milwaukee and he threw out over 30% of attempted base stealers in each of the last two seasons.
He joins a Mets roster that already includes veterans James McCann and Tomas Nido as well as top prospect Francisco Alvarez. With Narvaez now in the fold, there's a good chance that one of the vets end up elsewhere.
Things may not have gone the way Narvaez or Brewers fans expected in his three seasons in Milwaukee, but he was still an important part of the team's success during that time. So as one catcher joins the team, another moves along.