Omar Narvaez signed a one-year, $8MM deal (with a $7MM player option for 2024) with the Mets just before Christmas, and Will Sammon of The Athletic shed a little more light on the market for the veteran backstop before he eventually wound up in New York. Sammon notes that the Giants strongly considered a move for Narvaez while the Twins, Tigers and Reds all had varying levels of interest.
The Giants have since inked Roberto Perez, the Reds are set with the trio of Tyler Stephenson, Curt Casali and Luke Maile while the Twins signed Christian Vazquez to the position. The Tigers are an interesting one though, as they’ve only added Triple-A backstop Donny Sands in a trade with the Phillies. They’re set to use some combination of Eric Haase, Jake Rogers and Sands in 2023 but it’s interesting to hear they were at least interested in a higher profile addition there this winter. If they do still look to add an external catcher, Gary Sanchez, Robinson Chirinos and Kevin Plawecki are the remaining notable catchers on the market.
Here’s some more bits and pieces from around baseball:
- Joey Gallo could be set to see a bit of time at first base in 2023. As Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic noted in a recent mailbag, Gallo could well be the back up first baseman to Alex Kirilloff. That’s not to say Gallo will be on the bench, as the former Ranger, Yankee and Dodger will get plenty of reps in the outfield, but if Kirilloff’s struggles extend into 2023 the Twins could utilize Gallo a fair bit at the position. He rates well as a defender in the outfield, and has made just one appearance at first since 2018 but he’s also graded out solidly defensively at first in his time there.
- Rockies owner Dick Monfort made headlines recently when he boldly stated he thought the Rockies could play .500 ball this season. That’d be a big ask in a competitive NL West, and the Rockies have done little to improve on their 68-94 record in 2022. Whatever record they wind up with this year, Monfort – in an interview with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post – said they wouldn’t go down the rebuilding path: “I guess the connotation on rebuilding is you just get rid of everybody. You try to draft low, which we’re not [going to do]. We’re not trying to get the first pick. We’re not going to tank. We never have, never will,” Monfort said.
- With the Padres adding Xander Bogaerts on a long-term deal and still having Manny Machado under contract for at least the next season, the left side of their infield appears set. Of course, that led to an expectation that Fernando Tatis Jr. would head to the outfield moving forward. That still looks to be the case, although the player didn’t commit to a position and said he’s been working out in both the infield and outfield this winter (via Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Tribune-Review). It’s been a challenging few seasons for Tatis, but he also added that he’s feeling “as close to 100%” as he’s been the past few seasons after dealing with wrist and shoulder injuries, and is expecting to be a full participant in spring training.
- Sammon’s report in The Athletic also includes details on the Mets plans for Tylor Megill and David Peterson. Both players figure to be in and around the team at some stage over the course of the season, but Sammon reports that the team’s ideal scenario would be to have both players go to Triple-A to start the season and work as starters there, rather than starting the season in the big league bullpen. Of course, injuries in the spring could force one or both of them into rotation spots to begin the season anyway, but it seems the Mets are hoping to avoid using them in relief roles to begin the season.