Omar Narvaez is likely better than either James McCann or Tomas Nido so the Mets signing him yesterday is probably a good idea. But it makes it harder for Francisco Alvarez to make the Opening Day roster. Not impossible – just harder. There have been rumors that the club has been shopping McCann and maybe now those go from rumors to reality. But that would still leave three catchers on the roster, should Alvarez not start the season back in Syracuse. It’s always been a good idea to me to have three catchers. But it’s not something the Mets have been all that eager to do this century.

The versatility of Eduardo Escobar, Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil makes carrying one fewer infielder or outfielder and going with three catchers a possibility. If you go with a 13-13 hitter-pitcher split, you have a four-man bench to complement your eight starting fielders and DH. A backup catcher is going to be one of those. It’s what you do with the other three that makes things interesting/complicated.

Adding to the stew is that with Daniel Vogelbach, you need to have a righty bat on your bench to DH. Ideally, Alvarez is that guy but Darin Ruf is still kicking around, so who knows if the Mets are considering Alvarez for that role. The nice thing about Narvaez is he gives the club another lefty bat, one with a little more sock than Guillorme. Now, they could still look for more LH power. There’s no clear fourth outfielder at the time, so maybe a lefty-hitting outfielder would be a good target.

So, the four-man bench is backup catcher, Guillorme, fourth outfielder and righty DH. If the Mets go with Ruf as the righty DH, he also becomes the backup 1B and fifth outfielder. We saw McCann play a few games at first base, so if he’s still on the roster he can fill that backup spot as well. Another option would be to have Mark Vientos as the righty DH/backup 1B. Vientos would also offer the potential as backup 3B and LF, too.

Yet with al of the options available, it seems to me the first decision is what to do at catcher.

How do the Mets handle their catching with the acquisition of Omar Narvaez?

  • Two catcher with Narvaez and McCann/Nido (68%, 23 Votes)
  • Three catchers with either Nido or McCann gone (12%, 4 Votes)
  • Two catchers with Alvarez and Narvaez (12%, 4 Votes)
  • Three catchers with Alvarez in Triple-A (9%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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One comment on “Poll: How does the catching shake out after Omar Narvaez pickup?

  • deegrove84

    Brian knows I’m a crazy person who keeps a constantly changing spreadsheet of the Mets with who shakes out where. I see the Narvaez signing as two things. The Mets do not have faith in Alvarez being 100% defensively ready for the starting job in 2022 and that they don’t think McCann or Nido are the ideal fit to help groom Alvarez to eventually get there.

    One thing that James McCann, Tomas Nido and Omar Narvaez all have in common is that they play good defense. Narvaez also happens to be a lefty which gives him an edge on pitching matchups but none of them stand out as being Wilson Contreras. The other thing that separates Narvaez from McCann and Nido is that he’s Venezuelan (just like Francisco Alvarez). This move strikes me as the Mets bringing in a veteran who is better equipped to guide their young prospect to being a full time player.

    With that being said I don’t believe the Mets are going to sign Narvaez and then send Alvarez down. This move says to me that McCann and/or Nido will be traded. I can see the Mets keeping Nido on the roster as a C3 sooner than McCann. This means the Mets are banking on a trade where they eat 90% of McCann’s contract for some small amount of salary relief at the very least. I see no path to McCann being on the 2023 roster.

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