Mets to Sign Omar Narvaez

The Mets have once again entered the free agency position by making a deal with the backstop. Omar Narvaez. There is reportedly a two-year, $15 million guarantee that keeps him leaving at the end of next season. Narváez, a Steve Comte client, will make $8 million in 2023 and it’s up to him to decide on a $7 million option for the next season.

Narváez, who will turn 31 in February, is heading to Queens after three seasons in Milwaukee. The Brewers took a left-handed backstop from the Mariners outside of the 2019-20 season. Narváez had a reputation as the first bat catcher in the Pacific Northwest. He had reached .278/.353/.460 in his only season at Seattle. This is an excellent production for a catcher, but field framing measurements were well below average.

While the Brewers probably didn’t anticipate that the scope of their production would change in this way, they found the #1 catcher they were looking for in that deal. Narváez seemed to be making a concerted effort to improve field framing numbers. He got strong marks on it in all three seasons in Wisconsin, and Statcast credited him with a cumulative 21 laps above average over the three-year period. This defensive boost coincided with a production drop at the plate as he failed to replicate the offensive numbers at the start of his career.

Narváez reached .233/.318/.350 during his time as Brewer. He was average or worse each season, including his lackluster .206/.292/.305 score, in which he played 296 games throughout the platform year. The Venezuelan native suffered a double list of injuries this year, wasted time with COVID-19 and then left hamstring strain. Even when Milwaukee was healthy, he practiced a more even distribution of playtime. Victor Caratinimarginally outperforming Narváez on the plate.

Narváez has solid touch skills, but 2019’s 22-point season now appears to be the product of the very lively ball used that season. In Milwaukee’s batter-friendly home environment, he hit 11 in 2021, beating just 10 homers in another year. average hitter (apart from the abnormal increase in the shortened 2020 campaign).

It’s a little surprising to see Narváez secure a $15 million pledge, especially one that gives him a chance to retest the market a year from now. With Willson Contreras and Christian Vazquez Outside of the board, he was the best remaining free agent. Narváez showed signs of offensive and defensive potential, although he couldn’t quite bring the two together in one season.

New York has been incredibly aggressive this winter, but they have sat in the buyer market. Mets could turn things around with veteran player James McCann For starters, especially since they prioritize the glove Thomas Nido as a depth option and best prospect Francisco Alvarez on the wings. McCann has a streak of just .220/.282/.328 in 603 games since signing a four-year free agency deal outside of the 2020-21 season. Nido has never hit enough to be a regular, and Álvarez, 21, still faces questions about his ability to handle the challenges of the position. Narváez’s presence doesn’t seem likely to stand in the way of Álvarez once the organization sees the youngster ready for a full appearance, but will provide them with extra senior security if he needs more time to hone their welcoming and summoning skills.

The Mets will likely be happy to find a trading partner for McCann. With $24 million still due in the last two years of his contract, the Mets would definitely have to pay some of the money to unload the veteran backstop. They could continue to partner with Nárvaez in a loose platoon arrangement with McCann hitting from the right. But doing so may require leaving Nido as it is outside of the minor league election years. All three backstops would have to remain on the MLB roster or be released, and that was before considering the possibility of an Álvarez promotion. At some point next year, it looks like either McCann or Nido has changed uniforms.

The Mets’ estimated 2023 payrolls add another $8 million to over $343 million, according to Squad Source. Since the player option is treated as guaranteed money when calculating its average annual value, the deal counts as $7.5 million against luxury tax.

New York has already shattered the fourth and final tier of Federal Reserve penalties and has taxed them 90% for every additional dollar spent. The Narváez deal will cost them an extra $6.75 million, meaning the Mets have committed $14.75 million to secure their services for next year alone (in addition to the 2024 option). That’s probably a much higher price than any other club could pay, but it’s the last example Steve Cohen didn’t care about spending when the front desk offered him the opportunity to improve the roster.

Robert Murray of FanSided He was the first to report that Narváez and the Mets were close to agreeing on a contract. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported a two-year warranty With deactivation after 2023. Jon Heyman of the New York Post He was the first to report the $15 million guarantee and financial breakdown.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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