In an off-season filled with thrilling splashes, most of the free-agent signings made by the New York Mets came with little to no surprise. The positions of need at various places across the roster were clear, and the Mets added players who had been linked to the team throughout the free-agency process. Most notably Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga.
However, there was a particular signing that came a bit from out of nowhere. One of the more unexpected additions made by Billy Eppler was the signing of veteran catcher, Omar Narvaez. Even with the inevitable departure of James McCann, the Mets had Tomas Nido, who finished 2022 strong, and one of the top prospects in baseball, Francisco Alvarez, at catcher.
Narvaez, a now eight-year veteran, will turn 31 on Friday. He has a solid career batting average of .258 and has played 600 games in the MLB since his first year in 2016. Narvaez is coming off a disappointing 2022 season, though, in which he hit just .206 and had a .597 OPS.
Known for his framing behind the plate, Narvaez is also establishing himself as a team player in just his first two months with the Mets.
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Omar Narvaez taking on a leadership role with the Mets:
Early arrivals for Spring Training started yesterday for the Mets. A handful of players were at the team’s facility in Port St. Lucie. Veteran clubhouse leaders Brandon Nimmo and Eduardo Escobar were present. Three of the Mets’ top prospects all competing to be on the roster to begin the year, Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos, all happened to be there. Also, the Mets’ new addition behind the plate, Narvaez.
Three weeks ago, Narvaez met with the media. He spoke about the Mets’ top-rated prospect, Alvarez, and shared some encouraging things.
“I think my experience, I’ve been able to have a good relationship with pitching staffs and learning from each other. And if I can go and help Alvarez be a part of this team also, I’m gonna do it. … I know he’s down in Venezuela right now, so I’m just looking forward to meeting him and share a little information and kind of give him everything that I [have] from experience.”https://sny.tv/articles/mets-catcher-omar-narvaez-build-relationship-francisco-alvarez
In just two days of early arrivals at Spring Training, Narvaez has been working directly with Alvarez already.
Yesterday, the two were on the field having a catch together.
Today, even more, was shown of Narvaez working directly with Alvarez where the young prospect can improve the most, behind the plate.
To see Narvaez so willing to help Alvarez develop defensively is a huge plus.
In an interview with SNY earlier today, Narvaez expressed his excitement to get things going.
“I’m pretty excited. You know, having to get to know all of these guys. I’ve been playing against all of these guys for a long time. And now, I’m really excited to finally get to know them and play with them.”
On getting to work with a promising group of starting pitchers and what will go into building bonds with each one, Narvaez shared the following.
“Kind of get to know them and talk to them individually. I think I’ll build really good relationships with all of them and try to be obviously the best friend I can for them.”
On the opportunity to work with Verlander and Scherzer, “It’s really exciting, just the fact that I don’t have to face them. … I feel like we got almost the same philosophy to call the game and I’m excited to get to be behind the plate for them.”
It is great to hear not only the excitement from Narvaez but the outlook he has toward working with all of his new teammates. Whether it be Alavrez or the pitching staff, Narvaez seems determined to come in and work to help the Mets in any way possible.