While many were still asleep, Brewers GM David Stearns was busy putting the finishing touches on a trade to acquire catcher Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners.
The #Brewers have found their primary replacement for Yasmani Grandal. They are close to acquiring catcher Omar Narváez from the #Mariners, a source tells The Athletic. M’s would receive at least one minor leaguer in return.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2019
Narvaez is one of the young catchers that have shown great promise with a bat in his hands over the past two seasons. While he did outperform his expected stats (.278 average, .254 expected – .460 slugging percentage, .422 expected), there’s no questioning that the power exists in the 27-year-old’s bat.
Over the past two seasons, Narvaez’s 31 home runs rank seventh among catchers and his 120 wRC+ ranks eighth. However, the issue remains with his glove –– better known as the most important aspect of being a catcher.
Last season, Narvaez ranked 119th out of 122 catchers with -12.3 fielding runs above average (FRAA) and was in the 22nd percentile for catcher framing.
Leaving Seattle for a Brewers team with playoff aspirations could relegate Narvaez to a bench role for backup catcher Manny Pina, who’s coming off of a season where he had 8.3 FRAA and ranked in the 88th percentile for catcher framing.
As for the return, the Mariners are getting at least one minor leaguer from Milwaukee, although specifics have not been reported on yet.