Mets reach 1-year deal with catcher Narváez

December 22nd, 2022

NEW YORK -- The Mets on Thursday officially added another catcher to an already crowded backstop mix, agreeing to terms with veteran on a one-year contract with a player option for 2024. He'll make $8 million in 2023 and has a player option worth $7 million for 2024, meaning the deal could be worth up to $15 million if he ends up exercising that option.

Narváez joins a catching crew that already includes veteran as well as the No. 1 prospect in baseball, Francisco Álvarez. The move also opened the door for the Mets to trade veteran Jared McCann, who has underperformed since joining New York and is due $24.3 million over the next two seasons, to the Orioles on Wednesday.

If nothing else, the Mets hope they have upgraded their offense with the addition of Narváez, a 30-year-old Venezuelan who produced a career year with 22 home runs and an .813 OPS for the Mariners in 2019. Narváez has alternated good and bad seasons since that time, homering just four times with a .597 OPS for the Brewers last summer. But he is a career .268/.345/.406 hitter against right-handers, making him a more natural platoon-mate for Nido.

It's also possible the Mets carry Álvarez as their primary designated hitter, but they are more likely to send him for additional defensive seasoning given his importance to their future. Álvarez, who earned a promotion down the stretch and made the Mets' playoff roster, is considered MLB-ready offensively but raw behind the plate.