Omar Narváez Sep 4, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez (10) reacts to the Arizona Diamondbacks dugout in the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

How many catchers does an MLB team need?

The New York Mets have signed free-agent catcher Omar Narváez to a one-year contract with a player option for 2024. MLB insider Mike Rodriguez was the first to report the news.

Narváez, an All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021, will reportedly earn $8 million in 2023, with a $7 million player option for 2024.

The 24-year-old, who spent the past three seasons with the Brewers, has been inconsistent at the plate, alternating good seasons (22 home runs in 428 at-bats for the Seattle Mariners in 2019) with bad (he slashed .206/.292/.305 last season).

However, baseball analytics have redefined how teams measure a player’s defensive value, and Narváez has some good numbers behind the plate. According to Baseball Savant, he ranked in the 89th percentile in pitch framing last season.

Now, there’s a question about how the Mets catching depth chart shakes out. Rookie Francisco Álvarez, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, is expected to be ready in 2023. Veteran James McCann is still around, as is Tomás Nido who logged the most starts last season.

Don’t be surprised to see one or both of the latter two surface as trade pieces at some point, as there are several teams that need catching help.

Baseball fans wondered why the Mets were trying to corner the market on catchers.

“Mets signing catchers who can’t hit is so Mets. They should be shedding catchers not named Alvarez/Nido,” tweeted a fan.

“Like the deal. McCann probably the most likely one getting traded,” tweeted Will Scarola.

“There’s got to be some 3D chess going on, right?” tweeted one fan.

“I prayed every night since October to never see James McCann in a Mets uniform again. God is real!” noted another fan.

“McCann gone for sure. Maybe Nido in a trade?” commented a fan.

[SNY Mets]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.