Rival teams have been contacting the Brewers to check in on catcher Omar Narvaez, per Robert Murray of FanSided.
Despite leading the NL Central with a three-game cushion between them and the Cardinals, the Brewers are clearly not shy about straddling the line between “buyers” and “sellers”. There was no greater evidence of that than today’s trade of Josh Hader, wherein the Brewers subtracted an excellent relief pitcher but supplanted him with other MLB-ready pieces and prospects.
Narvaez would also fit that bill, though in a much different way. The 30-year-old catcher might not be the household name that Hader is, but he’s still a plenty useful player. Though he slumped badly in the shortened 2020 season, he’s been solid since then. Starting with the beginning of the 2021 campaign, he’s played in 182 games and has hit .256/.336/.389. That amounts to a wRC+ of 98, or 2% below league average, though it’s actually 10 points above the average backstop this year. When combined with his quality defense and pitch framing, Narvaez has been worth 4.1 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs, between last season and this one.
The plan at the beginning of the year was for the Brewers to platoon the left-handed-hitting Narvaez with righty Pedro Severino. However, when Severino was given an 80-game suspension for a positive PED test, the club acquired switch-hitter Victor Caratini to take his place. Caratini has gone on to hit .231/.355/.413 this year for a wRC+ of 119. Severino has also returned from his suspension and been hitting well, slashing .235/.350/.353 for a wRC+ of 103, though in just seven games.
Perhaps the club regards this trio of catchers as surplus to requirements and is willing to subtract from it in order to upgrade elsewhere. Caratini and Severino can be kept around next year via arbitration but Narvaez is a pending free agent. His $5MM salary is also the highest of the three. That’s not a bank-breaking sum by the standards of MLB contracts, but still something to be taken under consideration by a Brewers team that generally doesn’t run huge payrolls.
As for who might be interested in Narvaez, the Astros are one theoretical fit. They have apparently balked at the asking price on Willson Contreras and are more interested in Christian Vazquez, though it’s still not clear how willing the Red Sox are to sell. The Guardians are also looking for a backstop upgrade, having recently discussed Sean Murphy with the A’s, though it doesn’t seem like those talks gained much momentum. The Mets and Cardinals are currently without their primary catchers, as James McCann and Yadier Molina are both on the IL at the moment. There are lots of possible fits without many available catchers and seemingly high asking prices on those that are out there, perhaps allowing the Brewers to find a deal to their liking.
Rays please get this guy
Couldn’t agree more. Any catcher hitting over 220 with quality Defense would help the Rays!!
I sure hope so!
My first thought too. This seems far more likely than them landing Contreras.
My thought too. Yep 2 teams with a good history of trades and are down to get a deal done between. Rays have a need and some bats the crew would be happy to take.
Already posted in the Hader thread, but is Yelich in play for trades I wonder?
I’d consider it. Nothing should be off the table.
This team isn’t good. They will get eliminated first round if we make it. Need to retool. Organization sees that.
Yeah, I don’t know the contract status of your team but can’t imagine there are many cheap years left in those pitchers. Great staffs end up expensive eventually.
This team is 12 games over .500 entering August, despite injuries across the roster; have the top offense in MLB over the last two weeks (in conjunction with the return of Renfroe); would run out Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta to start any series; and still have a strong right-left duo at the back of the pen in Williams and Rogers. Who are you watching?
Compare the way the Brewers coaches and analytic people work with players, and the way other teams – particularly the Padres – do.
Brewers are among the 4-5 best at bringing out the best in players.
I don’t think Sterns is done. He and Counsell get the team to peak during the stretch run and playoffs.
Even with improved results this year over last season, I don’t think Yelich would garner much in return. Even if the Brewers are some of the salary, it likely wouldn’t entice other teams enough. When the Brewers extended him, he was playing at elite level. Since 2020 he’s been pretty average, while being paid as an elite outfielder. I’m sure he’s available, I just don’t see another club taking him on
I don’t see MIL including enough prospects or cash to trade him.
From the team standpoint I don’t see why they wouldn’t listen on Yelich..but I want to say he has full veto power on trades. Can’t see teams lining up to acquire his contract now that he can’t hit hr anymore.
If they trade Narvaez who catches for the Brewers in the playoffs? Severino can not play in the post season.
Contreras for Milwaukee C in WS.
Just to spite the lowly Cubbies!!
At least he wouldn’t get hit by Milwaukee pitches anymore.
He’d get hit plenty behind the plate.
That becomes an interesting situation unless the Brewers acquire someone like Austin Nola or Christian Bethancourt who play other positions while serving as Caratini’s backup in the postseason. You would think Severino would be the likely one to get traded but the same reason the Brewers would trade him is the same reason contenders aren’t trying to get him-the postseason ineligiblilty
What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is going on around here! Kripes!
That could be tricky, since I believe Severino’s suspension makes him ineligible for the postseason. Trading Narvaez would thrust Alex Jackson or Mario Feliciano onto the playoff roster, assuming the Brewers don’t acquire a catcher elsewhere (Sean Murphy, perhaps?).
I appreciate the mentioning of where his wrc+ stands up against other catchers. If there is a simple place to look up average stats per position I’d be interested in that info. Usually, those numbers get thrown around as if all position players should be comparable hitters.
Oh man, I have a lot of respect for this guy. Would the Brewers actually consider trading him to the Cards? Worthy investment even if Yadi is about to come back. Narvaez and Knizner would make a solid tandem for next season.
The Cardinals don’t need a catcher. Yadi will be back. Yes, the brewers would trade him to them, if they liked the return. The Brewers have done business with the Astros. A mini bidding war between Cleveland and Houston is my guess. Both those teams need an upgrade but don’t want to pay the ridiculous price the chubs are asking for Contrares.
Brewers are sellers and are in first place. Wow!!
Kinda odd isn’t it.
I don’t see it as the Brewers being sellers, but retooling from places of strength. Trading Hader was about avoiding next year’s salary, swapping him for another reliever, while also adding more pieces for their trouble. Pretty savvy, if you ask me. Kind of similar to what the Mariners did last year in trading Graveman for Toro, while also going out and getting Diego Castillo.
As this article states, Narvaez is one of three MLB-proven backstops they now have. Milwaukee is looking to deal from a position where they can afford to.
Exactly.. You don’t trade a guy who is 10 points above league average at his position (even if the other guy is 30 points above). That’s a solid catching tandem.
Though I would worry about the playoffs with Severino not eligible.
It’s selling in a sense since it’s more oriented toward the future. But also still helping at present. And there are assets left to really go big for a bat to help right now.
I like the OF prospect from the Hader trade. Might make one of our OF prospects a nice throw in for some trade to obtain that big bat.
Narvaez and Frelick for…..
Frelick should be untouchable unless he’s being used in a trade for a legit established star with multiple years of team control.
Moving Naverez isn’t a bad idea. Caratini will start the postseason games if they make it. Severino will be the backup for the regular season. Doesn’t really matter too much who the back up would be in October. Uecker wasn’t needed for the Cardinals. It was all McCarver.
They will need a backup for the playoffs though, just in case of injury. My question is who will it be, and how do they prepare that player between now and then?
Injury/sminjury. Don’t worry about that. They can find a guy that has caught major league games between now and September. Who knows, maybe he runs into a pitch, at the right time, if Caratini goes down. No show from Navarez in the postseason last year anyway.
I predict 2 more moves for the crew!
Slinger gonna sling
The Crew will get a couple of minor leaguers back for Narvaez. They still need to give something up for a bat. Rodgers pitches the 8th primarily and Williams has the ninth, is my guess. Unless one inning is lefty/righty heavy. Either way they should be ok