Brewers send minor-league pitcher to Seattle for catcher Omar Narvaez
The Milwaukee Brewers have found their replacement for catcher Yasmani Grandal in Omar Narvaez.
The Brewers on Thursday acquired Narvaez from Seattle in exchange for minor-league pitcher Adam Hill and a 2020 Competitive Balance Round B selection.
Narvaez spent one year with the Mariners, who traded for the catcher from the Chicago White Sox last offseason. He slashed .278/.353/.460 with 22 home runs in 132 games. The left-handed hitter was especially productive against right-handed pitchers, slashing .289/.346/.490 with 20 of his homers.
“Omar has established himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the game,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said in a statement. “We believe his bat will give us an impactful left-handed presence in our lineup.”
Milwaukee could look to platoon Narvaez, who batted .227/.379/.320 vs. lefties, with Manny Pina, who re-signed with the Brewers for one year. In 81 plate appearances last season, Pina hit .319/.395/.569 against left-handers.
Pina could also be used to sub in for Narvaez defensively. In his four-year career, Narvaez has thrown out only 21% of attempted base stealers. In 2019, that number was down to 18% and his dWAR was -0.6 (-0.1 in his career). Pina has a 35% success rate on stolen base attempts (league average is 27% over that same time) and his career dWAR is 3.4.
Narvaez, who turns 28 in February, is arbitration eligible in 2020 and can’t become a free agent until 2023.
Hill was a fourth-round pick of the New York Mets in 2018 who was acquired by the Brewers this past January as part of a deal for Keon Broxton. In 26 games (23 starts) with Single-A Wisconsin, the right-handed throwing Hill posted a 3.92 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 121 2/3 innings with 109 strikeouts.