The Seattle Mariners made a splash on Thursday, December 5 by sending catcher Omar Narvaez to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitching prospect Adam Hill and a competitive balance pick for 2020.
Last year, the Mariners acquired Omar Narvaez from the Chicago White Sox for reliever Alex Colome. It sounded like a good deal to me at the time; however, trading Narvaez to the Milwaukee Brewers for a #24 top prospect and a competitive balance pick doesn’t seem enough to me. I was hoping to see a big splash instead of just a splash.
I know there are those who will or have said it is a good deal for the Mariners because Narvaez isn’t a good defensive catcher, which is true indeed; however, the Mariners haven’t had an offensive catcher in some time. I understand Tom Murphy had a good year offensively plus a better defensive catcher as well. It is true but he hasn’t proven to be a starting catcher in the major leagues yet. So why not trade Murphy to the Brewers instead for the same deal?
I know in a trade you have to look at the plus and minuses but I think the Mariners lose more than they gain unless prospect Cal Raleigh turns out to be as good offensively as Narvaez and a better defensive catcher. At this point, Raleigh has shortcomings defensively as well, though he is working at improving his skills.
There must be something about Narvaez besides his lack of defensive skills that allowed Dipoto to trade him to the Brewers. At least the Mariners won’t have to face him often unless they make the World Series or the Brewers trade him eventually to another American League team.
Keeping Narvaez, the Mariners could have had a good hitting catcher who could be a backup at the position along with playing on occasion at first base and be the regular DH when he isn’t in the field. I am sure Dipoto got what he could for Narvaez, but does that mean you have to trade him, especially right now?
This means the Mariners will depend on Daniel Vogelbach as the designated hitter against righties while Murphy and Nola could share DH against lefties. Murphy could be the starting catcher against righties than get a day off letting Nola catcher against lefties. I wonder though if Vogelbach is a one year wonder while Narvaez has shown his value hitting already. Another area of value though is in the clubhouse; Vogelbach has shown good value there while Narvaez might not be. The measure of this trade we will see by 2021 or later.